With the real MLB season on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the “MLB The Show” Players League has been an unexpected delight. And now even more people will be able to experience it.
MLB has announced that ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, and MLB Network will begin broadcasting games from “MLB The Show” Players League starting on Thursday, April 23. ESPN2 will show selected regular season matchups on Thursday and again on Saturday, and then MLB Network will show more matchups and a one-hour recap show on Sunday.
That will bring the regular season portion of the league to an end, and then the top eight teams will advance to the playoffs. ESPN, ESPN2, and FS1 will begin broadcasting the playoffs on May 1 starting with the quarterfinals on FS1, which is a best-of-three series. The semifinals, also best-of-three, will be on ESPN2 and FS1 on May 2, and the best-of-five championship series will air on ESPN on May 3.
Every team is controlled by a current MLB player, which is what’s made this first-of-its-kind experiment so successful. Guys like Fernando Tatis Jr., Juan Soto, Lucas Giolito, and Blake Snell are finally getting to show off their personalities, which is something MLB has seriously struggled with over the past few years. Taking the players out of the traditional MLB environment of games and structured interviews has allowed them to be just regular dudes. And having them play video games against each other as regular dudes has let fans get to know them like never before.
Until Thursday, all “MLB The Show” Players League games had been shown on MLB’s YouTube channel and MLB Network’s Twitch channel. The move to ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, and MLB Network will give more people the opportunity to connect with MLB players as regular guys just playing video games in their living rooms.
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