ESPN Deportes to Offer Exclusive Coverage of all 39 Games of the 2009 World Baseball Classic
Network Acquires Exclusive Rights to Remaining 16 Games
ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-language home of baseball in the U.S., will present coverage of all 39 games of the 2009 World Baseball Classic. The network, which under a previously announced deal secured rights to 23 games of the event, secured exclusive Spanish-language rights for the remaining 16 games, it was announced today.
“This agreement clearly underscores ESPN Deportes’ leadership and commitment to offering first-class sporting events to the Hispanic sports fans and advertisers in the U.S.,” said Eric Conrad, director, programming and acquisitions, ESPN Deportes. “The World Baseball Classic represents national pride, honor, and glory and we’re thrilled to once again be the exclusive Spanish-language platform showcasing these world class baseball players as they proudly represent their home countries.”
World Baseball Classic coverage highlights include:
- Spanish-language telecasts of all 39 games on ESPN Deportes beginning March 5;
- Special editions of Beisbol Esta Noche will keep fans up to date on the latest results, news and expert analysis throughout the tournament;
- Exclusive Spanish-language coverage on ESPN Deportes Radio, highlighted with coverage of the semifinals and final;
- Extensive ESPNdeportes.com content featuring highlights, news and information.
- 33 games available on ESPN Deportes in Puerto Rico.
World Baseball Classic coverage on ESPN’s English-language platforms will include:
- ESPN and ESPN2 combining to televise 23 games in the U.S. beginning March 5;
- The semifinals – Saturday, March 21, and Sunday, March 22 – and final, Monday, March 23, from Dodger Stadium;
- All ESPN and ESPN2 telecasts simulcast via ESPN360.com and ESPN Mobile TV;
- 23 games (ESPN, ESPN2 telecasts) available in Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
ESPN International will televise up to 39 games in Africa, Australia, Europe (via NASN, which will become ESPN America on Feb. 1), Latin America, the Middle East and New Zealand.
Baseball on ESPN Deportes
ESPN Deportes is the only Spanish-language network in the U.S. that offers coverage of baseball all-year-round. The network features exclusive coverage of MLB Sunday Night Baseball, as well as winter baseball from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Mexico, culminating with exclusive coverage of the Caribbean Series. In addition to live baseball programming, ESPN Deportes is the only Spanish-language network that offers a weekly baseball news and highlights program, Beisbol Esta Noche, all-year-round. In 2008, ESPN Deportes acquired the rights to air Rumbo a las Grandes Ligas, a one-hour documentary that takes an intimate portrayal of one of baseball’s most heralded breeding grounds, the Dominican Republic, and a close examination of the country’s special brand of baseball. Through the eyes of local kids playing with peddles to the perspective of the major league starts, Rumbo a las Grandes Ligas shows a side of the game that few have ever seen before. Rumbo a las Grandes Ligas is a story that will take viewers through the poverty, opportunity, pressure and success that touches the lives of the people that are trying to make it big. Dominican-born major leaguers interviewed for Rumbo a las Grandes Ligas include Boston Red Sox David Ortiz. ESPN Deportes airs more than 320 baseball-related programming hours annually.
About World Baseball Classic, Inc.
World Baseball Classic, Inc. is a company created at the direction of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) to operate the World Baseball Classic tournament. The tournament, which is sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), is supported by MLB, the MLBPA, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), their respective players associations and other leagues and players from around the world.
About the World Baseball Classic
The World Baseball Classic is the premier international baseball tournament, sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation, and features the best players in the world competing for their home countries and territories. In March 2006, 486 players – 235 of them from MLB organizations – representing 16 teams from across the globe competed in the inaugural event. More than 740,000 fans from 48 states and 15 countries attended games – 16 of which sold out – and millions more watched on TV as Team Japan was crowned the first-ever World Baseball Classic Champion. Broadcast by 48 media outlets in 10 languages to 205 countries and territories around the world, the inaugural tournament had 50 official sponsors and 21 official licensees. Media members representing 25 different nations attended the 39 games in seven host venues across three countries/territories. The next tournament will be held in March 2009 and will again feature 16 of the greatest baseball-playing nations in the world. The tournament will be held every four years thereafter, with plans in place to expand the participant field beginning in 2013.
ESPN’s 20th Season of MLB Coverage
Entering its 20th season of MLB coverage, ESPN is the home of the Sunday Night Baseball franchise – the only exclusive, national game of the week – along with the 2009 World Baseball Classic, the State Farm Home Run Derby, weekly Monday and Wednesday Night Baseball telecasts, and Baseball Tonight. ESPN Radio continues to exclusively broadcast Sunday night games, along with select games throughout the season, MLB All-Star festivities and every postseason game through the World Series. ESPN Deportes televises all Sunday Night Baseball games and will present all 39 World Baseball Classic games. ESPN networks televised the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006.