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MLB Postseason: Turner Tunes AL, While Fox Plays NL

In the first year of its new rights deals, Major League Baseball has sets its postseason schedule, with network coverage that puts American League action on TBS and most of the National League competition in Fox’s camp.

The Fall Classic on Fox broadcast aside, the highlight of the programmer’s playoff presentation is a multicast with Fox Sports 1 of the first game of National League’s Championship Series. FS1 will showcase most of Fox Sports' postseason telecasts.

MLB Network is also in the playoffs with a pair of NL Division Series contest, while ESPN is returning to postseason roster for the first time since 2006, with coverage of the senior circuit’s Wild Card contest.

After Turner televised all four Division Series under the rights pact after the  2013 season, Fox Sports reenters this round of the playoffs after a seven-year hiatus, but the broadcast network will still remain in the dugout.

Instead, Fox is pushing its national cable sports network to the forefront. FS1 will make its MLB playoff debut with up to eight of the 10 National Division Series contests – two are on MLBN . FS1 opens with a doubleheader on Friday, Oct. 3, and twinbills are also slated for Oct. 7 and Oct. 9, with special editions of Fox Sports Live serving as the between-game bridge with highlights, analysis and news.

The first game of the NLCS on Oct. 11 will feature Fox providing the traditional broadcast and FS1 tossing up a more analytical-viewing experience under the JABO (Just a Bit Outside) banner, replete with statistics, sabermetrics and graphics. The numbers will inspire and anchor debate and conversation among Kevin Burkharrdt, Gabe Kapler, C.J. Nitkowski and Rob Neyer. They will be joined by guests via phone or remote video outlets. Fox will also air a potential Game 6, with the balance, including Game 7, on FS1, now in its sophomore season.

Coverage of the 110th World Series -- the 15th straight broadcast by Fox and the network’s 17th overall --  begins Tuesday Oct. 21 in the ballpark of the AL pennant winner by virtue of the junior circuit’s 5-3 win in July’s All-Star Game.

All postseason MLB games aired by Fox and Fox Sports 1 will also be televised in Spanish exclusively on Fox Deportes, which is poised to deliver its most comprehensive MLB postseason coverage ever, with pregame shows, special reports, interviews and postgame analysis on its signature studio show Central Fox.

TBS will begin its eighth consecutive year of postseason coverage with its exclusive presentation of the AL Wild Card game on Tuesday, Sept. 30.  TBS will also be the exclusive television home of both ALDS, beginning Thursday, Oct. 2, and the American League Championship Series. 

Under the terms of the new rights deal, Turner and Fox will alternate league coverage -- aligning the senior circuit with the former and the AL with Fox for the 2015 postseason.

Ernie Johnson (play-by-play) and analysts Ron Darling and Cal Ripken will call one of the 2014 ALDS confrontations and the ALCS.  They will also provide commentary for the Wild Card contest. Matt Winer will join them as a reporter throughout the postseason.

The second ALDS team comprises  play-by-play man Brian Anderson,  Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley and Joe Simpson as analysts. Jaime Maggio will join them as a reporter.

ESPN will present the NL Wild Card on Wednesday, Oct. 1, with its Sunday Night Baseball squad of Dan Shulman, analyst John Kruk and reporter Buster Olney.

The NL Wild Card Game will also be available on ESPN Deportes and on ESPN International platforms in Latin America, the Pacific Rim, the Caribbean and cruise ships.

Should tiebreakers be necessary, ESPN will televise those contests – previously the province of Turner under the old deal – on Monday, Sept. 29.

Wild Card

Tues., Sept. 30: AL Wild Card Game, TBS
Wed., Oct. 1: NL Wild Card Game, ESPN

Division Series
Thurs., Oct. 2: ALDS A, Game 1, TBS
Thurs., Oct. 2: ALDS B, Game 1, TBS
Fri., Oct. 3: ALDS A, Game 2, TBS
Fri., Oct. 3: ALDS B, Game 2, TBS
Fri., Oct. 3: NLDS A, Game 1, FS1
Fri., Oct. 3: NLDS B, Game 1, FS1
Sat., Oct. 4: NLDS A, Game 2, FS1 or MLBN
Sat., Oct. 4: NLDS B, Game 2, FS1 or MLBN
Sun., Oct. 5: ALDS A, Game 3, TBS
Sun., Oct. 5: ALDS B, Game 3, TBS
Mon., Oct. 6: ALDS A, Game 4, TBS
Mon., Oct. 6: ALDS B, Game 4, TBS
Mon., Oct. 6: NLDS A, Game 3, FS1 or MLBN
Mon., Oct. 6: NLDS B, Game 3, FS1 or MLBN
Tues., Oct. 7: NLDS A, Game 4, FS1
Tues., Oct. 7: NLDS B, Game 4, FS1
Wed., Oct. 8: ALDS A, Game 5, TBS
Wed., Oct. 8: ALDS B, Game 5, TBS
Thurs. Oct. 9: NLDS A, Game 5, FS1
Thurs. Oct. 9: NLDS B, Game 5 FS1

Championship Series
Fri., Oct. 10: ALCS Game 1, TBS
Sat., Oct. 11: ALCS Game 2, TBS
Sat., Oct. 11: NLCS Game 1, Fox
Sun., Oct. 12: NLCS Game 2, FS1
Mon., Oct. 13: ALCS Game 3, TBS
Tues. Oct. 14: NLCS Game 3, FS1
Tues. Oct. 14: ALCS Game 4, TBS
Wed., Oct. 15: ALCS Game 5, TBS
Wed., Oct. 15: NLCS Game 4, FS1
Thurs., Oct. 16: NLCS Game 5, FS1
Fri., Oct. 17: ALCS Game 6, TBS
Sat. Oct. 18: NLCS Game 6, Fox
Sat. Oct. 18: ALCS Game 7, TBS
Sun. Oct. 19: NLCS Game 7, FS1

World Series
Tues., Oct. 21: Game 1, AL city, Fox
Wed. Oct. 22: Game 2, AL city, Fox
Thurs. Oct. 23: Travel day
Fri., Oct. 24: Game 3, NL city, Fox
Sat., Oct. 25: Game 4, NL city, Fox
Sun,, Oct. 26: Game 5, NL city, Fox
Mon., Oct. 27: Travel day
Tues., Oct. 28: Game 6, AL city, Fox
Wed., Oct. 29: Game 7, AL city, Fox