12/07/2006 5:39 PM ET
FSN Midwest to increase Cardinals coverage to 130 regular season games in 2007
KSDK to air 20 regular season games as part of new multi-year contract
ST. LOUIS -- FSN Midwest, the primary television home of the St. Louis Cardinals for the past 13 years, in 2007 will increase the number of regular season games it annually televises to 130 - an increase of 20 games - as part of a multi-year extension of its long-term television rights agreement with the reigning World Champion Cardinals.
Meanwhile, Cardinals games on over-the-air broadcast television in the St. Louis area will return next season to KSDK, NewsChannel 5, the local NBC affiliate which was the original television home of the Cardinals, airing its first game in 1947 as KSD and continuing through 1987. KSDK will celebrate its 60th anniversary of operation in 2007.
KSDK will air 20 regular season games in 2007 in the first year of a multi-year broadcast package, giving Cardinals fans 150 scheduled regular season games on local television. With additional Cardinals games slated for national broadcast partners FOX and ESPN, all 162 games in 2007 are anticipated to be televised in the St. Louis area.
"Cardinals fans and our ballclub are in terrific hands with the extension of our television agreement with FSN Midwest and return to KSDK," said Cardinals President Mark Lamping. "FSN Midwest is one of our cornerstone business partners in addition to being the principal television destination for Cardinals baseball. Today's announcement strengthens both the Cardinals and FSN Midwest while ensuring a comprehensive telecast schedule and broad distribution of games for our fans well into the future.
"Our agreement with KSDK gives the Cardinals a strong presence on a consistent news and ratings leader in St. Louis while returning our club to a broadcast television home that is familiar and trusted with St. Louis viewers and sports fans. To be aligned with the nation's premier NBC affiliate in KSDK is consistent with our mission to deliver first-rate coverage and game telecasts to our fans."
FSN Midwest is consistently one of the highest-rated channels in prime time in St. Louis. FSN Midwest is the leading provider of local sports in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas and Nebraska, reaching more than 5.4 million cable and satellite homes. It telecasts more than 2000 hours of local programming each year, including St. Louis Blues hockey, Big 12 athletics, Missouri Valley Conference athletics, University of Missouri basketball, Kansas City Royals baseball and much more. Nationally, FSN owned- or affiliated-regional sports networks serve as the TV home to 21 of 30 MLB teams.
In 2007, FSN Midwest will also televise two spring training Cardinals games and deliver a package of regular season games in high definition. FSN Midwest will continue to air the Cardinals Live pregame and postgame shows each telecast, along with hundreds of hours of additional Cardinals programming
"The Cardinals play a significant role in the identity of FSN Midwest, and we're thrilled to extend our long-term agreement with the team," said Jack Donovan, General Manager and Vice President of FSN Midwest. "We're proud to be home to the World Champions and the best fans in baseball. And we'll continue to deliver a great television package, with 132 games, extensive pregame and postgame coverage and more Cardinals programming than ever before."
The multi-year contract with KSDK, NewsChannel 5, calls for plans to broadcast 20 regular season games each season in high definition, along with two spring training games, pregame and postgame shows, and a season-long weekly half-hour show devoted to Cardinals highlights, interviews and commentary. KSDK will be the flagship station for the Cardinals Television Network, which consists of stations reaching across eight states (Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Tennessee, Indiana, Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma).
"Bringing back the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals to their original home is a perfect way to celebrate our 60th anniversary," said Lynn Beall, President and General Manager of KSDK. "This new contract between KSDK and the Cardinals is more than just business - it's a relationship with a rich history and a promising future. We have the people at our station St. Louisans know, and the news and information they trust. Combine that with our cutting-edge, high definition delivery, and storied tradition with the Cardinals, and everyone - especially baseball fans - wins."
The FSN Midwest/KSDK television schedule will be announced in early 2007.