Turner Sports plans to cover its fifth consecutive MLB post-season with extensive multi-platform activation beginning Sept. 30, including TBS’ exclusive presentation of the American and National League Division Series and the National League Championship Series.
However, Ernie Johnson, the long-time voice of Turner Sports, will not be a part of TBS’ postseason coverage due to the illness of his son. Johnson will be replaced by Brian Anderson, who has been the lead play-by-play announcer for the Milwaukee Brewers since 2007 and has called MLB postseason games nationally for TBS for the past three years.
“My son Michael has muscular dystrophy and he has been in intensive care for the last two weeks and is expected to remain hospitalized for several more weeks,” Johnson said in a statement. “At this time, my job is to be with Michael and my family. [My wife] Cheryl and I have a positive attitude, a strong faith and amazing support system especially within Turner Sports.”
Fox this year will have exclusive coverage of the American League Championship Series and the World Series.
The TBS MLB On-Deck presented by Chrysler pre-game show and Inside MLB presented by Captain Morgan post-game show will have in-depth game reports and post-game interviews from every LDS game, as well as the ALCS and NLCS coverage on TBS presented by the New Capital One Cash Card.
Bloomberg Sports has signed a new licensing deal to provide both TBS and Fox with custom-designed enhanced statistical analysis, professional analytical tools and a data feed of in-depth pitch analysis for each game of the 2011 playoffs and World Series.
According to Bloomberg, these new features include “very detailed predictive tools for pitcher-batter match-ups, will give broadcast teams unique information on player tendencies and the potential outcome of each play.”
“We have made tremendous advances in adapting our products for use with every audience, and this new relationship with Fox Sports and Turner is the latest example,” said Bill Squadron, head of Bloomberg Sports, said in a statement. “We are very pleased that in less than two years Bloomberg Sports is already seen as a leader in the field of sport analysis and innovation.”
According to Squadron, these new tools for the networks “will give viewers a more detailed breakdown and fascinating insights into player performance and the inner workings and strategy of baseball, which we believe will enhance their enjoyment of the game.”
TBS said it would also utilize a Liberovision 3D interactive telestrator to give fans a unique perspective of instant replays. In addition, Turner Sports’ online plans will feature a variety of content on SI.com including breakdowns and predictions of games and series, video highlights, player interviews and photo galleries.