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MLB Network Wants Dish Network, AT&T
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (December 6, 2010) -- Baseball's MLB Network says it's now available in 56 million U.S, homes and it hopes to soon reach 70 million by signing up Dish Network and AT&T.

The channel made the disclosure at an investors conference last week.

Reuters reports that officials at the baseball channel did not offer any specific dates for when they would reach agreements with Dish and AT&T. But they did say they hoped the deals would come before the start of the 2011 baseball season.

Dish's 14 million plus subscribers and AT&T's 2.7 million customers would put the network over the 70 million mark.

"There's two major players that don't have the network," said Tony Petitti, MLB's top executive. "If one of those players came in, we'd be right on top of the 70 (million) number, and if both come in we'd probably exceed it."

Petitti said his network will no longer offer an equity stake to persuade a TV provider to carry the channel, a practice the network followed in signing up DIRECTV, Comcast, Time Warner and Cox.

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Phillip Swann is president and publisher of TVPredictions.com. He has been quoted in dozens of publications and broadcast outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He can be reached at swann@tvpredictions.com or at 703-505-3064.

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