Wednesday Night Baseball
StarringJon Sciambi
Rick Sutcliffe
and others (see below)
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons27th Season
Production
Running time3 hours (approximate)
Release
Original networkESPN (1990–2021)
ESPN2 (1996–2005)
Original releaseApril 18, 1990 (1990-04-18) –
September 29, 2021 (2021-09-29)
Chronology
RelatedSunday Night Baseball
Monday Night Baseball

Wednesday Night Baseball is a live game telecast of Major League Baseball.

The series formally aired every Wednesday night during the regular season on ESPN. However, beginning with the 2022 Major League Baseball season, ESPN significantly reduced their MLB schedule, which included cutting most, if not all, of their Wednesday Night Baseball games. Wednesday Night Baseball games now generally air on Fox Sports 1 and MLB Network.

On ESPN, the game started at 7pm ET, following SportsCenter, and usually lasted around three hours with an hour-long Baseball Tonight following the game leading up to the 11pm ET SportsCenter (1am ET for September games with Baseball Tonight moving to ESPN2 at 12am ET). Every April some broadcasts aired on ESPN2 due to ESPN's priority with Wednesday's NBA coverage.

Wednesday Night Baseball is not exclusive, as it is usually blacked out in the teams' local markets, where the respective local broadcasters may still air the game, unless local broadcasters choose not to televise the game. ESPNEWS was seen on ESPN during the game in the teams' designated markets. The blackout (100-mile radius from the stadium, and all of a team's designated market) can be lifted in the latter scenario. On double-headers in September, due to the broadcast of Monday Night Football, either one of the Wednesday Night Baseball games will co-exist with the local markets' carriers and will not always be subject to blackout.

Commentators

A complete list of broadcasters, with their period of tenure on the show (beginning years of each season shown).

History

Former logo used until 2011.

The program debuted in 1990, when ESPN first acquired MLB rights. From 2000 to 2005, broadcasts consisted of a doubleheader, usually airing the first game at 7pm ET on ESPN and the second at 10pm ET on ESPN2. The second part of the doubleheader was discontinued after 2005 season.

Wednesdays also formerly included an afternoon game, called ESPN DayGame which aired typically at 12:30pm or 1pm ET on ESPN, making Wednesdays ESPN's primary day of baseball, as games aired both in the afternoon and in primetime. However, ESPN DayGame was also discontinued following the 2006 season.

In 2021, ESPN agreed to a new contract with Major League Baseball through the 2028 season. However, the deal included only around 30 exclusive broadcasts, most of which would take place on Sunday Night Baseball.[1] Thus, it is likely that Wednesday Night Baseball may move to another network in the foreseeable future, or become part of the MLB Network Showcase package.

Wednesday Night Baseball on other networks

Nationally televised baseball on Wednesday nights is not exclusive to ESPN. Recently, nationally televised Wednesday games have also aired on networks such as FS1 or MLB Network.

FS1 (2017-2018, 2020-present)

While nationally televised FS1 games usually air on Friday and Saturday nights, FS1 has also aired games on Wednesday nights since 2017. Usually, they're on days when ESPN is covering other sports.

Schedule
Year Date Matchup
2017 April 5, 2017, 7PM Yankees Rays
April 5, 2017, 7PM Royals Tigers
2018 April 4, 2018, 7:30PM Cardinals Brewers
2020 August 5, 2020, 4:00PM Phillies Yankees
August 12, 2020, 6:30PM Royals Reds
September 9, 2020, 6:30PM White Sox Pirates
2021 April 28, 2021, 7:00PM Cubs Braves
2022 May 11, 2022, 7:00PM Rays Angels
June 8, 2022, 7:30PM Yankees Twins
June 15, 2022, 7:00PM Brewers Mets
August 10, 2022, 8:00PM White Sox Royals
August 17, 2022, 8:00PM Dodgers Brewers
August 24, 2022, 7:00PM White Sox Orioles
September 7, 2022, 8:30PM Diamondbacks Padres
September 14, 2022, 7:30PM Brewers Cardinals

MLB Network (2009-present)

Since 2009, MLB Network airs live baseball most weeknights, including games. Wednesday games on MLB Network tend to just be simulcasts of games produced by regional sports networks and not games directly produced by MLB network.

See also

Resources

References

  1. ^ Hughes, Katie. "The Walt Disney Company, ESPN and Major League Baseball Reach Long-Term Rights Extension for Fully Exclusive, Marquee Schedule". ESPN Press Room (Press release). Retrieved 2021-05-23.