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MLB Extends HTN Backhaul Contract

 Major League Baseball (MLB) Network has renewed its contract with HTN Communications LLC (HTN) for HTN to provide fiber backhaul services for the network's Ballpark Cam system.

HTN has served as the fiber transmission provider for Ballpark Cam since MLB Network's inception in 2009. The new contract will extend the partnership for another three seasons.

In addition to providing live HD transmissions for every MLB game, HTN installed and manages the full-time private fiber network for the Ballpark Cam system.

HTN is also in the process of upgrading its fiber network to 1.48 Gbps HD-SDI local loops, which will produce a tenfold increase in usable bandwidth over the original infrastructure. This will enable MLB Network to add additional cameras and services, and expand Ballpark Cam's usage for high-profile MLB events such as the All-Star Game, the Postseason and World Series.

"When we launched the Ballpark Cam system, our goal was to give baseball fans even greater behind-the-scenes access to players and a unique perspective on what goes on in the dugout and on the field," said Susan Stone, senior VP, operations and engineering, MLB Network, in a statement. "Ballpark Cam is a huge success and a highly popular feature with our viewers, thanks in large part to the reliable and high-quality transmission services provided by HTN."

Each of the league's 30 ballparks are equipped with two Ballpark Cams, one installed just beyond the centerfield wall and the other located either next to or inside the first or third base dugouts. The cameras provide up-close video of players going through practice and other non-game activities as well as interviews to supplement the MLB Network's pre- and post-game programs and analysis.

HTN, formerly Hughes Television Network, launched services in the 1960s with its first backhaul provider, the Madison Square Garden Network (MSGN), and now, HTN offers point-to-multipoint live HD transmission from every MLB, National Basketball Association, and National Hockey League sports venue to any site worldwide, notes Joe Cohen, CEO, HTN Communications. It also provides services for a broad range of entertainment events and news media outlets.