Tony Petitti is the President and Chief Executive Officer of MLB Network, overseeing all day-to-day operations of the network. Petitti was at the helm of the launch of the network, which debuted on January 1, 2009, in 50 million cable and satellite homes, exceeding any other cable television launch in history by approximately 20 million homes. As of the 2012 MLB season, MLB Network is available in 68 million homes.
Since MLB Network's launch, Petitti has overseen the expansion of MLB Network's live studio programming to include the weekday afternoon studio shows "The Rundown" and "Intentional Talk;" the growth MLB Network's distribution by 13 million homes in 2011, the most of any cable TV network; and the 2012 launch of MLB Network Strike Zone, a second MLB Network channel airing commercial-free updates and look-ins at live regular season games twice per week.
In its first year on the air, MLB Network was honored in its inaugural year with four Sports Emmy Awards and 12 nominations by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, including Outstanding Production Design and Art Direction, Outstanding Graphic Design, and Outstanding Technical Team Studio for its signature program, "MLB Tonight." Since then, MLB Network has received a total of 28 Sports Emmy Award nominations and nine wins, including back-to-back honors in 2010 and 2011 for "MLB Tonight" as Outstanding Daily Studio Show.
Petitti joined the MLB Network after serving as the Executive Vice President and Executive Producer for CBS Sports, where he oversaw all daily operations, including production, personnel and editorial content. In January 2008, Petitti assumed responsibility for day-to-day operations of CSTV and was instrumental in its transformation to the CBS College Sports Network.
Petitti originally joined CBS Sports in February 1997 as Senior Vice President, Business Affairs and Programming, in which he played a key role in negotiating contracts for continued coverage of the PGA Tour and the network's return to NF. In August 1999, Tony became the Vice President and General Manager of WCBS-TV in New York before re-joining CBS Sports in 2002. The seven-time Emmy Award Winner was named Executive Producer in July 2002 and later appointed Executive Vice President in December 2005. In 2000, SportsBusiness Journal honored Petitti as part of its "40 Under 40" top executives in the industry.
Prior to joining CBS Sports, Petitti served as Senior Vice President, Negotiations for NBC Sports and as Vice President, Programming for ABC Sports. With ABC, Tony was responsible for the acquisition of college football regular season and bowl games, college basketball, the Little League World Series and NASCAR events. In addition, he is credited for creating the Bowl Championship Series to determine college football's national champion.
Petitti, who began his professional career in the field of law before joining ABC Sports in 1988, graduated from Haverford College in 1983 with a degree in economics and from Harvard Law School in 1986. In May 2006, Haverford selected Tony as the recipient of the prestigious Lawrence Forman Award, presented to a superior Haverford athlete who has devoted a significant portion of their energy to the betterment of society throughout his or her career.
Petitti currently resides with his family in Irvington, N.Y.