Bristol, Conn. -- Two weeks after losing its Sunday-night
Major League Baseball package, ESPN will air several games featuring home run leaders Mark
McGwire and Sammy Sosa.
On Tuesday, Sept. 22, the network will offer Sosa's
Chicago Cubs against the Milwaukee Brewers and McGwire's St. Louis Cardinals against
the Houston Astros, on a regional basis.
That Friday, viewers will see either the Chicago-Houston
game or the Montreal Expos-St. Louis contest. Finally, on Sunday, Sept. 27, ESPN2 will air
either the Cubs or Cardinals game, depending on which one has the greatest effect on the
MLB pulled three of ESPN's Sunday-night games after
the network wanted to move the games to ESPN2 to make room for its newly acquired
Sunday-night National Football League package.
Fox Sports, however, had reached its limit of Cubs and
Cardinals telecasts for the year, prompting MLB to turn to ESPN, sources close to the
In other ESPN news, the network jumped out to a strong
ratings start in September. Buoyed by its NFL games, the network's primetime ratings
are up 56 percent for the first two weeks of September, compared with last year, the
The network is averaging a 2.8 rating, compared with a 1.8
last year, according to ESPN's analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.