Major League Baseball has grown in popularity in the UK and Ireland over the past decade. However, getting to see your favourite team regularly normally means staying up until the wee hours, watching online or forking out for a subscription to a full-sports package.
Up until 2006, the only TV coverage was a twice weekly program on Channel Five at 1 AM, which had one live game along with highlights and updates on other scores.
In 2002 Setanta Sports launched a channel called NASN (North American Sports Network), which broadcasts ten live games a week in the UK. At first, this was an annual subscription channel costing £10 a month on top of the monthly Sky subscription fee.
This has now been included into the full Setanta Sports package costing £15 per month, which is better value for money so long as you watch the other available sports channels. This channel has now been re-branded "ESPN America" and will continue to give decent coverage, but my main gripe is the fact this is an all-US sports channel.
A major improvement to this channel would be to have a weekly baseball highlights show from UK, with local fans giving input.
With the launch of MLB Network in the US, I would appeal to MLB to make this channel available on the Sky TV Network for UK fans. I currently run a fans' forum called basesloaded.eu and our members from UK and Ireland would love to have not only the live games but the original programs, highlights along with the classic games.
I believe there is enough demand for this and it would help support for Major League Baseball to grow in the UK and Ireland.
I would encourage all fans from UK and Ireland to email MLB network in support of this idea and maybe Sky TV and MLB will make it happen and we can all enjoy watching our favorite teams more often.