Mets name president of TV network

The Mets television network has been the subject of much speculation this winter, as the team's big-money upgrades like Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran just happen to coincide with its planned Spring 2006 launch. <P> Now, the network is one step closer to being named a reality, as Jon Litner – the Executive Vice President and COO of the National Hockey League – was named President of the yet-to-be-named regional sports station. <P>

"This is a very exciting opportunity and the dream of a lifetime for me," Litner said. "We have extraordinary partners and will have exceptional content to offer to the public. I expect to immediately put together a great management team and start working toward our launch in the Spring of 2006."

The Mets network will replace the club's existing agreement with Cablevision, in which games were broadcast on FOX Sports Net New York and MSG. The Mets executed a $54 million buyout to escape their contract with Cablevision last year.

The new network will carry up to 125 regular season games, with all home games and selected road games broadcast in HDTV. Additionally, the network will feature a selection of spring training contests and Mets-related news and feature programming.

The Mets could woo other area clubs to broadcast on the network, much like the Yankees reached an agreement with the NBA's New Jersey Nets to share time on the YES Network. The NHL's New Jersey Devils and NFL's New York Jets have been mentioned as possible partners with the Mets.

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