Fox is trying to liven up sports commentary with a comedic curveball, but for sports fans looking for some harder-hitting coverage, Major League Baseball and TBS might be pitching something more your speed.
Hoping to break out of a post-season ratings slump that’s plagued the MLB over the past few seasons, the league is teaming up with the network to launch Hot Corner – a broadband channel featuring news updates, interviews, and live webscasts from baseball’s 2007 Division and Championship series available exclusively at MLB.com.
Hosts will include baseball legends Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn, along with sports announcer Ernie Johnson, but the most intriguing component of the offering won’t involve any hosts at all. The “Dugout Cam” will give fans an inside look into each team’s dugout during the playoff games, pulling back the curtain from one of the most exclusive and mystical spaces in all of professional sports…outside of the locker room.
“TBS Hot Corner is an important extension of our postseason MLB coverage as it gives us a comprehensive platform to interact with fans and deliver unique in-game access like never before,” said David Levy, president of Turner Sports.
This “unique in-game” access is what’s going to set Hot Corner apart from other online sports coverage. News and interviews are ubiquitious, but a user-guided experience involving more cameras pointing in new directions and at new subjects is something that ESPN and television simply can’t offer.
Dugout cams, batter’s box coverage, and streams from the bullpen are excellent ways to keep fans tuned into baseball after their fantasy seasons have wrapped and their losing home teams have gone on vacation until the Spring. Niche coverage of mainstream events will attract the hardcore sports addicts and passive viewers looking for a different, fresh angle.