01/29/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

MLB Network Preps For Rollout In 50 Million Homes

In these challenging economic times -- during which every story and press release commences with an "in these challenging economic times ..." salvo -- media entities are as likely to roll out a big-dollar, big-ambition offering as they are to quadruple their head count. And then there's Major League Baseball, which will come across as positively brazen when it launches its eponymous cable network in upward of 50 million homes Jan. 1.

Those 50 million homes make the MLB Network the biggest debut in the history of cable. Talking to Ad Age a couple of weeks before its official unveiling, network President-CEO Tony Petitti mercifully refrains from peddling blind optimism about the new venture.

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