ESPN Celebrates 25 Years Covering MLB With Special Opening Night Broadcast

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN reaches a milestone this Spring.  Beginning March 30th at 6:30pm ET, the Worldwide Leader in Sports will kick off its twenty-fifth season covering Major League Baseball.  It all begins with an exclusive ninety-minute presentation of MLB’s Opening Night on ESPN presented by Scotts–Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres—on Sunday Night Baseball.  Karl Ravech will host the special anniversary broadcast.  He will be joined by MLB Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, Jon Kruk, and Curt Schilling.

The night’s special pre-game broadcast will be followed up by first pitch scheduled for 8pm ET.  Host Dan Shulman will be back for the network’s landmark anniversary season.  Also returning are analyst Jon Kruk and reporter Buster Olney.  There will be a new face joining the regular broadcast team this season.  MLB veteran and Curt Schilling also joins the team beginning this season.

MLB fans can catch all the Opening Night festivities across the ESPN platforms, including ESPN, ESPN Radio (with Jon Sciambi, and Chris Singleton), ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio, and online via WatchESPN.

ESPN’s Opening Day schedule will feature five matchups, highlighted by a matchup of the 2013 MLB World Series Champion Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles.  That game is scheduled for a 3pm start time.  The complete ESPN Opening Night/Opening Day schedule is listed below.


ESPN’s Opening Night and Opening Day Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Sun., Mar. 30 8 p.m. Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres telecast presented by Scotts ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 1 p.m. Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates telecast presented by Scotts ESPN, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 3 p.m. Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles telecast presented by Scotts ESPN2, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 4 p.m. St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds telecast presented by Scotts ESPN, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 7 p.m. Colorado Rockies at Miami Marlins telecast presented by Scotts ESPN2, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 10 p.m. Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim telecast presented by Scotts ESPN2, WatchESPN


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New Frontline Feature Examines The AIDS Epidemic In Black America

Courtesy: PBS/WGBH/, Ford Foundation, MAC AIDS Fund, Corporation For Public Broadcasting/MacArthur Foundation/Reva & David Logan/Park Foundation/Frontline Journalism Fund

AIDS has devastated America since it first began appearing in the early 1980s.  When it first became known, it was thought to be a disease only of homosexual males.  Since that time though, knowledge of the disease and how to treat it has broadened.  Despite that knowledge, AIDS continues to ravage one group more than any other.  And it isn’t the gay community.  As presented by PBS’ Frontline, the community that is still being ravaged by the AIDS epidemic is the African American community.

In its new special, Frontline examines in an unbiased manner, the spread of AIDS in the black community.  It examines the factors that have led to the spread of the disease and the stigma attached to those who have contracted it, both straight and homosexual.  The stories told firsthand by those who contracted the disease are both powerful and moving.  And learning how widespread the disease is in the Black community is just as eye opening.  Through the program’s near two-hour run time, there is a message of hope that it can at least be reduced and slowed if not wiped out.

The stories told firsthand by those who contracted the AIDS virus come from members of every walk of the African American community.  On one hand, there is Nel.  Nel is sixty-three years old and a grandmother.  Nel married a deacon in her church who it turned out had lied to her about being HIV positive.  Even upon being confronted by her, he still lied about it.  Another story is that of a young woman who ended up contracting the disease from a man after having unprotected sex with a man she thought was Mr. Right.  And in another, audiences are presented the case of Jovante.  Jovante is a football player who ended up contracting the disease from his partner.  It shows the far reaching impact of the disease and the personal emotion felt by each victim. 

The feeling that each victim experiences illustrate the stigma still attached to the disease even three decades after it first appeared.  That stigma crossed lines of straight and gay.  Even more interesting is that the stigma itself was more self-imposed than having been placed on them by those around the subjects interviewed.  That is one of the most interesting aspects of this documentary.  That victims regardless of straight or gay would self-impose the stigma is a powerful statement.  Some claimed that they didn’t talk about it because they believe the stigma.  But the vibe of the general public was not one of subjugation, but of acceptance.  That comparison is subtle.  But it’s more than enough to generate lots of discussions.

Also sure to create is a segment of the program highlighting former President George W. Bush’s pledge to send aid to Africa to help fight the AIDS epidemic there, too.  It provides the clip from Bush’s State of The Union address in 2003 in which he publicly pledged millions in aid to fight the disease throughout Africa’s nations.  Whether political or otherwise, this is a moment that is certain to lead to discussions, too.  The inclusion of interviews with NBA Magic Johnson will lead to just as many discussions.  It’s interesting the view that some developed on AIDS after seeing that Johnson recovered.  It actually created a hope.  And that sense of hope is what viewers are left with by the program’s end.

While there is still work to be done in terms of education and other aspects, there is hope that cases of AIDS can be vastly reduced if not wiped out with proper education among America’s Black communities.  The education must be spread to African Americans of all ages.  From education about abstinence and contraception to general knowledge about AIDS, it can combine to finally lead to the endgame in question for Aids in Black America.

Endgame:  Aids in Black America is available now on DVD.  It can be ordered direct via PBS’ online store,

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