MLB, ESPN expand global deals through 2010
Major League Baseball International and ESPN International have extended their global cable and satellite broadcast packages through 2010, it was announced today by Paul Archey, senior vice president of International Business Operations for Major League Baseball and Tim Bunnell, senior vice president, programming and marketing, ESPN International.
As part of the renewal agreement, ESPN International will maintain cable and satellite television rights on all ESPN television networks in 190 countries and territories in Arabic, English, Portuguese and Spanish through the 2010 MLB World Series. ESPN International will bring MLB games to fans in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Israel, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and ESPN-affiliated Cruise Ships.
ESPN International will have exclusive rights to broadcast Tuesday and Friday night MLB games with additional premier rights to broadcast the All-Star Game and the XM All-Star Futures Game. The agreement also grants ESPN International the rights to broadcast half of the American and National League Division Series and one League Championship Series each season, beginning with the National League Championship Series in 2007 and alternating Leagues each year. Additionally, the World Series will be broadcast in its entirety to the expansive ESPN International audience for the next four years. ESPN International has been a worldwide MLB International broadcast partner for the past 16 years.
“As the anticipation builds for Opening Day 2007, the continuation of this long-standing partnership between MLB International and ESPN International exemplifies the growing worldwide demand and excitement for the MLB season,” said Archey. “ESPN International continues to compliment our extensive global efforts with a unique ability to deliver MLB games to a wide-ranging and diverse audience.”
“This extension is consistent with our strategy to offer the world’s best baseball to fans across the globe,” said Bunnell. “MLB has been a proven winner on ESPN’s international networks and we look forward to similar enthusiasm for it from our viewers in 2007 and beyond.”