RCS is home to some of the biggest Major League Baseball fans you’ll probably ever meet, which is one of the many reasons we’re thrilled to have been working with MLB Network since its inception in 2008. Since then, we’ve helped roll out graphics for several of its show launches including “Intentional Talk,” “MLB Showcase,” “High Heat,” “MLB Central,” “The Rundown,” “MLB Strike Zone” “MLB Now” and “Quick Pitch.”
Whether working in-studio or on the road supporting MLB Network at seasonal games, the World Baseball Classic, All-Star game, play-offs or other events, we’ve been fortunate enough to witness some of the network’s biggest milestones over the last eight years, and as part of RCS’s ongoing 20th anniversary celebration, we’re sharing a few of our favorite highlights.
2008: MLB became the fourth major North American pro sports league to launch a 24-hour cable network. Having soft launched on December 16, 2008 with archival programming and promotions, MLB Network officially debuted on January 1, 2009 with the premiere of “Hot Stove.” Leading up to the launch, RCS struck a deal with the network to provide graphics and automation services and sent a team to Secaucus, NJ. Our team worked closely with the network’s production crew to develop an automated ticker system while also handling the designs and build outs for full studio shows like “MLB Tonight” and “Hot Stove.” We also created a remote games package and custom UpperCut production system for breaking news alerts.
2012: With the transition to HD underway, MLB Network shifted its SD feed to a 16:9 letterbox format to match that of its HD feeds in April 2012. That same year, it aired its first-ever postseason telecast, which covered the second game of the 2012 American League Division Series (ALDS) as the Detroit Tigers hosted the Oakland Athletics in Comercia Park on October 7. Our team handled all of the game graphics and hardware for the MLB Division Series in 2012 and was on-site to support each game broadcast.
2015: “MLB Central,” the network’s first regular season morning show, reached audiences Monday, April 6, and was the first show broadcast from Studio 21, the network’s new state-of-the-art broadcast facility. RCS developed graphics for the show as well as custom software that processes data, interfaces it with graphics and populates on-set banners and monitor fills. MLB Network officially reached nearly 70M U.S. households in 2015.
2016: In April the network revamped its on-air image with the debut of a new graphics package optimized for 16:9, marking the network’s first major redesign since its launch. RCS provided a complete rebrand for its studio shows, from the graphic designs and builds for the project to integrating our Foundation database service into the workflow, so that the network could more easily organize data across sources and get it to air in graphics templates in real-time.
The last eight years working with MLB Network have been filled with great memories. The network’s incredible team and dedication to the craft have made collaborating with them rewarding and consistently enjoyable. We can’t wait to tackle our next project with MLB Network.