MLB Network to Present Tripleheader on Fourth of July

Service Scores Most-Watched Second Quarter 7/03/2013 7:10 PM Eastern

For many Americans, the Fourth of July holiday means hotdogs and burgers on the grill, a parade down the avenue, fireworks in the air and baseball. MLB Network has the latter part of their celebration covered.

MLB Network --which just finished its most-watched second quarter and started the third quarter off on a hot note with its coverage of the Homer Bailey's no-hitter for Cincinnati against San Francisco on July 2 -- will present 13 hours of live hardball coverage on Independence Day, highlighted by a tripleheader.

Ryan Zimmerman and the Washington Nationals are in the leadoff spot hosting Jean Segura and the Milwaukee Brewers in the nation’s capital at 11 a.m. (ET). Batting second: the Baltimore Orioles, led by MVP candidate Chris Davis, travel to Chicago to face the White Sox and Adam Dunn at 2 p.m. T

The Emmy Award-winning MLB Tonight follows and serves as the lead-in to the finale of the tripleheader, featuring an AL West clash between the Seattle Mariners battle and the division-leading Texas Rangers at 8 p.m. After the game, MLB Network’s regular season highlights show of record Quick Pitch recaps the day’s action at 11 p.m.

MLBN's on-field action continues on July 5 at 7 p.m. with the Os heading to the Bronx, where Robinson Cano and the New York Yankees look to avenge their three-game sweep last weekend at Camden Yards.

The following day MLB Network will show either Baltimore-New York or Minnesota-Toronto at 1 p.m. Saturday’ primetime lineup features at 8 p.m. the network debut of Bull Durham, the comedy combining minor league baseball and romance and Oscar winners Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins. The theatrical is commermorating the silver anniversary of its 1988 release.

Saturday Night Baseball Live – Colorado at Arizona or Boston at the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim -- supplies the nightcap.

The holiday weekend concludes with another network debut as part of network's "Bleacher Feature" franchise: the 1942 biopic Pride of the Yankees, featuring Oscar winner Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth as himself.

With the Mid-Summer Classic and related festivities drawing nigh, the network will be all over CitiField in Queens, presenting 14 hours of coverage of the MLB All-Star Game on July 15 and 16, including batting practice, All-Star player and manager media day, the MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet, and MLB Tonight after both the Chevrolet Home Run Derby on ESPN and the All-Star Game on  Fox.

MLB Network just tallied its most-watched second quarter, averaging 184,000 viewers in primetime, a 19% gain from the corresponding period in 2012, according to Nielsen data. Live ballgames in the quarter averaged 232,000 viewers, 8% amelioration from last year. In June, the service registered a 15% increase to 189,000 viewers.

Year-to-date, MLB Network’s average total-day viewership grew 39%, the most in that measure by any cable network over that span, according to network officials.

The network started the new Nielsen period off on the right foot, as its July 2 coverage of Bailey's second career no-hitter averaged 320,000 viewers.