ESPN has reached a multiyear, multimedia agreement with World Baseball Classic, Inc. (WBCI) to present the World Baseball Classic in both 2013 and 2017, it was announced today. Coverage includes exclusive Spanish-language rights, audio rights and extensive coverage across ESPN’s studio programming and digital platforms.
Under the agreement, ESPN Deportes will provide comprehensive coverage as the Spanish-language home for both events, with live telecasts of all 39 games beginning with the three opening games on Saturday, March 2. In addition, ESPN Deportes Radio and ESPN Radio will broadcast games in Spanish and English.
World Baseball Classic coverage highlights include:
• Exclusive Spanish–language live coverage of all 39 games on ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes+ for both 2013 and 2017 events;
• Rights to qualifying games for the 2017 event;
• Rights to simulcast select games in Spanish-language on ESPN and/or ESPN2;
• Rights to broadcast games across ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes Radio-, with digital simulcasts permissible;
• In-progress highlight rights during Baseball Tonight and SportsCenter (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes), and digital highlight rights across our platforms;
• Extensive ESPNDeportes.com content featuring highlights, news and information.
“We have been the Spanish-language home of the World Baseball Classic since it started in 2006, and we are thrilled to be once again work with World Baseball Classic, Inc. to continue bringing coverage of the event,” said Lino Garcia, general manager of ESPN Deportes. “Baseball is one of the most followed sports among the U.S. Hispanic market and the success of the 2006 and 2009 tournaments on ESPN Deportes proved this is a must-see event for these emerging, passionate fans. In addition, our coverage across ESPN Audio strengthens our extensive baseball content for our listeners on both ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes.”
“We are pleased to once again be working with ESPN, which carried the 2006 and 2009 events, to bring every game of the World Baseball Classic tournament to fans throughout the United States on ESPN Deportes and ESPN Audio,” said Paul Archey, Senior Vice President, International Business Operations, Major League Baseball. “The World Baseball Classic is baseball’s premier international tournament and we are certain ESPN will provide outstanding coverage and promotion across their platforms for fans in both English and Spanish in advance and throughout the tournament.”
“Baseball enjoys overwhelming support from its Spanish speaking fans, and we’re confident ESPN Deportes and the rest of ESPN’s Spanish-language outlets will provide them unrivaled coverage of the World Baseball Classic,” said Timothy Slavin, member of the World Baseball Classic, Inc. Board of Directors. “Every four years the World Baseball Classic stirs a passion among fans as they get the opportunity to cheer for the team of their heritage, and ESPN is sure to help fuel that passion.”