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MLB Network Could Be Headed to Canada

Major League Baseball MLB Logo - H 2012

Cable giant Rogers Communications has applied to the CRTC for the league-owned network to be listed as a foreign TV service authorized for carriage here.

TORONTO - The Major League Baseball-owned MLB Network could be headed to Canada after cable giant Rogers Communications applied to the CRTC for market entry.

Toronto-based Rogers, which owns and operates the Toronto Blue Jays baseball club and the Sportsnet cable sports channel, in its regulatory application said MLB Network, which airs live baseball games and original programming, is looking for wide distribution countrywide.

"We believe the uniqueness of the MLB Network service, with its attractive and unique programming, will respond to consumer demand and help drive additional analog customers to our digital platform," Rogers wrote in its sponsoring application.

Besides pro baseball game broadcasts on local TV schedules, Canadians also access live league games, results and highlights through unregulated online services, including MLB.com.

Rogers pitched its application to the CRTC, the country’s TV watchdog, as in part bringing MLB Network into its regulatory orbit.

“The MLB Network will give Canadians another incentive to remain within the regulated system,” the application stated.

The CRTC has asked Canadians for public comments on the MLB Network before ruling on a possible market entry.