Tonight, members of Congress take the field as the Congressional Baseball Game returns. A bipartisan event that has taken place since 1909, the game was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was delayed this year until the fall, which means fans are all the more excited to see the tradition resume this evening at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. The game also serves as a huge fundraiser for charity, supporting local causes including The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington and The Washington Literacy Center.
In a brief Q&A with NCTA ahead of the game, FOX Senior Vice President of Government Relations Jamie Gillespie shared a bit about what has been going on behind the scenes at the network in preparation to cover the game:
NCTA: Why is it important for this game to be televised?
JG: FOX Sports has been interested in this game for quite some time. With the pandemic cancelling last year's game we thought it was the perfect time to highlight the game's bipartisan tradition and promote the amazing charitable goals, which we understand are approaching $2 million and which is just incredible.
NCTA: Can you explain FS1's goal in covering and bringing this special event to America's screens.
JG: This important addition to our programming lineup is an honor for Fox Corporation and comes between our historic production of the Field of Dreams Game in Iowa this past summer and less than a month before the World Series. Accessing the same platforms used for our coverage of Major League Baseball, we look forward to televising this year's game nationally on our FS1 cable network and FOX Sports streaming app. This game is unique for many reasons and we plan to mix our award-winning FOX Sports production crew with WTOP's play-by-play host George Wallace and analyst Mitch Miller. We also understand and appreciate C-SPAN's historic role in covering the Congressional Baseball Game for charity so we will share our production feed with them.
NCTA: How has the network been preparing to cover the game?
JG: We are also excited for viewers to experience the sights and sounds of the Congressional Baseball Game like never before. FOX Sports will deploy six state-of-the-art high-definition cameras throughout Nationals Park as well as multiple handheld cameras to cover the action. We will have 30 employees on the ground in D.C. who will transmit our feed via fiber to our new FOX Media Center at the Arizona State University Research Park in Tempe, Arizona. The Center, which will be the streaming and the technology hub for the company, launched earlier this year.
Fox Corporation was also uniquely able to promote the game and more importantly the charities associated with the game on a number of different platforms including FOX News Media and FOX 5 WTTG in D.C.
We view the 2021 game as the tip of the iceberg for FOX Sports. As we have seen with FOX's MLB All-Star game coverage, FOX Sports is not shy about pushing the envelope to promote the viewer experience.