We Wish MLB Network Presentation Would Return in MLB The Show 24

Time is a flat circle and all that, and with the news about all these ESPN folks returning to EA Sports College Football 25, it got me thinking about about networks and sports video games. From there, I was reminded of MLB Network’s presentation package and MLB The Show 24.

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To be clear, The Show’s presentation took a very nice leap forward last year, and at least with Storylines, it looks like it’s going to take another step in the right direction with ’24. However, a couple years back we lost MLB Network presentation packages. I’m not sure we ever got an official reason why, but the point I’m bringing it up is because all this stuff feels cyclical. After this week’s news, we all have NCAA Football 14 on the mind again, and that’s during the era when we had more TV-style presentation in our games.

Again, the regional and national broadcasts MLB The Show put in are both very good. The concept behind them to make games within franchise mode feel different makes perfect sense, and I don’t want to lose any of that. It’s just also there was a time when we had three presentation packages, and it would be nice to get that third package back.

OS user countryboy summed up the general vision as follows:

  • National Broadcast (Saturday/Sunday games like Fox/TBS/ESPN would have with the National presentation package)
  • MLB Network (Friday Night Showcase with additional telecasts sprinkled throughout the week)
  • Regional Broadcast (All your games not on the other two themes)

I think that makes sense, and it’s a continuation of the process SDS is already undertaking with the vibes of their broadcasts. Beyond that, it’s also been something many on the forums have thought about because we already have a lot of MLB Network people in the game. It’s a natural extension of the partnership.

I do think at some point some developers almost felt offended by the idea that folks thought they could not do TV-style presentation, or they thought they could do it better than Fox or CBS or whoever. But it was never about that, it’s always just been about fans wanting to re-create the experiences they enjoy in real life. In other words, I’m not saying SDS needs MLB Network presentation to save them, it’s just purely additive.

Now, of course, all this comes back to money and time. I don’t know what it costs to include these official assets from MLB Network (I’m sure it’s not cheap), and I also do not know the budget and time constraints of SDS itself. Every presentation package presents its own issues, and it’s how we end up with small little things that sneak through that become annoyances (like the regional broadcast in MLB The Show not showing the number of Ks a pitcher has after a strikeout). It sounds small and insignificant, but those little issues do add up as you go for more and more depth.

But if time is a flat circle, then need I remind you that True Detective Season 1 first aired in 2014 and now we’re in 2024 and True Detective Season 4 just finished up. All that’s old becomes new again, and I think we’re getting to a point where the conversations about getting some of these brands back into our sports video games is going to start popping back up again. It would be nice to see MLB The Show 24 beat people to the punch and surprise us with the re-introduction of the MLB Network package.

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Author
Chase Becotte
Chase has written at Operation Sports for over 10 years, and he's been playing sports games way longer than even that. He loves just about any good sports game but gravitates to ones that coincide with the ongoing real seasons of the NBA, NHL, MLB, NFL, and so on.