Monday, April 04, 2011

MLB International renews 12 Broadcast Agreements

Press Release Major League Baseball International

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MLBI Extends Deals with ESPN, Fox Sports and DIRECTV to Broadcast MLB Games Around the World

Tianjin TV, Xiamen Satellite TV, and VTC3 Join MLBI as New Television Partners OBS, ONE HD, Mejia Group, IASN and TV Marti Deals Extended

Major League Baseball International today announced it has renewed broadcast agreements with 12 rightsholders from around the world including ESPN, Fox Sports, and DIRECTV. MLBI has also reached new deals with VTC3 in Vietnam and Tianjin TV and Xiamen Satellite TV in China to carry MLB programming and games. MLB has also extended agreements with rightsholders, including OBS and OBS W (Korea); ONE HD (Australia); Mejia Group and IASN (Colombia); and TV Marti (Cuba).

MLB International has agreements with 102 television and radio partners to broadcast Championship Season games, the 2011 MLB All-Star Game and the 2011 postseason in 20 languages to fans in 220 countries and territories around the world.

“We are pleased to renew these agreements with our current broadcast partners as well as extend our coverage across China with new partners Tianjin TV and Xiamen Satellite TV,” said Paul Archey, Senior Vice President, International Business, Major League Baseball. “There is a great passion for Major League Baseball internationally and our broadcast partners provide us with the opportunity to enhance the availability of live Major League Baseball games and content around the world.”

The renewals with ESPN International and ESPN America will run through the 2013 season and will bring MLB games across Latin America, the Caribbean, the Pacific Rim, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. These renewals complement MLB’s existing coverage across Asia on ESPN Star Sports. The deals will bring fans more than 300 regular season games, the MLB All-Star Game, the entire MLB postseason, including the World Series. ESPN will continue to televise “Baseball Tonight” and “This Week In Baseball” as well as archived game footage.

As part of three agreements with Fox Sports, MLB fans throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and parts of Africa, and in Australia will be able to see multiple live MLB games per week, “This Week In Baseball” as well as extensive coverage of the MLB All-Star Game, Division Series, League Championship Series and World Series.

Deals with Tianjin TV and Xiamen Satellite TV will bring MLB games and special programming to an additional 30 million people across China, complementing coverage on MLB’s seven existing broadcast partners. MLB’s new partnership with VTC3 marks the first time that “This Week in Baseball” will be aired in Vietnam.

DIRECTV will extend their broadcast rights into Colombia for the first time, providing fans with six regular season games per week for the next three years.  The deal also includes rights in Venezuela, where up to 22 games will be televised every week of the regular season. In addition, DIRECTV in Puerto Rico will offer MLB fans two regular season games each week.

In addition, extensions were reached for the MLB Extra Innings package with Rogers Cable and Bell TV (Canada), DIRECTV (South America and Caribbean), iN Demand (select Caribbean countries) and Sky (Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic).

About MLB International
Major League Baseball International (MLBI) focuses on the worldwide growth of baseball and the promotion of Major League Baseball and MLB Club trademarks and copyrights through special events, broadcasting, market development, licensing and sponsorship initiatives.  MLBI is committed to showcasing the world’s best baseball talent through international events around the globe.  Broadcast in 220 countries and territories, Major League Baseball game telecasts are re-transmitted in 20 different languages.  MLBI executes and supports game development programs targeting players and coaches from grassroots to elite levels.  With an extensive list of marketing partners worldwide, MLBI continues to grow its position as a leader in the international marketplace.  MLBI is supported in its mission through presences in Beijing, New York, London, Sydney and Tokyo.