Fox Sports World Español has acquired Spanish-language telecast rights to the fall 2001 Major League Baseball playoffs and World Series, with plans to produce for the first time ever a comprehensive on-air graphics, audio and video package specific to Spanish-speaking audiences. The agreement was announced today by Fox Sports World Español General Manager Larry Gillman, and will allow more than 2.2 million Latino households - and nearly 4 million overall - to see these entirely Spanish-feature sportscasts.
Little more than two years after its February 1999 launch, Fox Sports World Español has become the recognized Spanish-language sports leader among North American cable and satellite homes. The network is especially popular with Latino subscribers in such major U.S. markets as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco/Oakland, Dallas, Houston, Miami and Phoenix, among several others.
"We are very pleased to make as important a cultural fixture as the Major League Baseball playoffs and World Series the new cornerstone to our popular Spanish-language baseball schedule," Mr. Gillman said. "Whether it's Venezuelan, Dominican and, now, the very best in American baseball, our audience demands a level of excellence and innovation more specific to its cultural needs. That is precisely what they and our many cable, satellite and marketing partners can anticipate from these upcoming MLB championship games."
Fox Sports World Español licensed its Spanish-language World Series and playoff rights from FOX Sports, which had acquired them as part of its sweeping six-year renewal with Major League Baseball, making all playoff telecasts exclusive to FOX beginning this fall. FOX began its successful association with Major League Baseball in 1996, and will continue to hold all telecast rights to the league playoffs and World Series through the 2006 MLB campaign.
Bolstered by a significant presence in North, Central and South American soccer, Fox Sports World Español began a rapid expansion into baseball with the 1999 acquisition of U.S. telecast rights to the popular Dominican and Venezuelan Leagues, as well as the Caribbean World Series. Fox Sports
World Español currently ranks first among all Spanish-language broadcast and cable networks in the U.S. in terms of the number of schedule hours it dedicates to baseball. The network plans to continue to expand in this arena with the potential acquisition of other major Spanish-language baseball rights in the near future.