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Cartoon Network & MLB Team for Second Season

Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) and the Major League Baseball Players Assoc. (MLBPA) have joined with Cartoon Network for the second year of a program designed to promote youth interest in baseball and baseball card collecting by reaching out to the millions of children who watch Cartoon Network original programming. The partnership, designed to engage children in the game of baseball via non-traditional media partners that speak directly to youth audiences, features characters from the popular Cartoon Network program CODENAME: KIDS NEXT DOOR.

In the new spots, highlights of MLB stars are part of a storyline in which characters from CODENAME: KIDS NEXT DOOR talk about the excitement of opening a brand new pack of baseball cards and seeing which MLB stars they can add to their collections. Each of the six spots will include visuals of the officially-licensed baseball card companies Donruss, Fleer, Topps and Upper Deck and will be tagged with information about one of these retailers: Toys "R" Us, Target or the Shop at MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball.

"Major League Baseball is devoted to establishing marketing partnerships that engage young people in the game of baseball," said Tim Brosnan, evp, business, Major League Baseball. "We are excited to be working with Cartoon Network, one of the most influential and popular children's networks, to introduce these new spots featuring some of the greatest players in the game today."

"This program is all about fun," said Judy Heeter, director of licensing and business affairs for the MLBPA. "Action shots of Major League stars will bring the excitement of baseball cards to life for kids and show them an important way to get closer to their favorite players."

The first spot, airing now, features the New York Yankees' Derek Jeter and the Philadelphia Phillies' Jim Thome. Additional spots will feature highlights of stars including Lance Berkman (Houston Astros), Adam Dunn (Cincinnati Reds), Vladimir Guerrero (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), Torii Hunter (Minnesota Twins), David Ortiz (Boston Red Sox), Albert Pujols (St. Louis Cardinals), Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez (Detroit Tigers), John Smoltz (Atlanta Braves), Ichiro Suzuki (Seattle Mariners) and Miguel Tejada (Baltimore Orioles).

All spots will air on Cartoon Network through July 2005 and in Major League Baseball stadiums. CODENAME: KIDS NEXT DOOR, which debuted on Cartoon Network in 2002, is popular with pre-teen audiences, garnering some of the network's highest ratings with the K6-11 demographic.

Cartoon Network, seen in 88 million U.S. homes and 170 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System Inc.'s 24-hour, ad-supported cable service offering the best in animated entertainment. Since its launch in 1992, Cartoon Network has remained one of ad-supported cable's highest-rated networks. Cartoon Network's website is located at CartoonNetwork.com.

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Rick DeMott
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