03/07/2007 12:10 PM ET
Major League Baseball International, ESPN Star Sports and FTV reach new television deals
Three-year agreements extend through 2009; ESPN Star Sports renews and expands MLB Coverage; FTV introduced as a new broadcast partner in Taiwan
Major League Baseball International has reached agreements with ESPN Star Sports (ESS) and FTV on
comprehensive over-the-air, cable and satellite broadcast packages through 2009, it was announced
As part of a renewal agreement, ESS will maintain cable and satellite television rights in 29 countries
and territories across Asia (with exclusivity in all, except for China) through the 2009 MLB championship
season. ESS will broadcast up to three MLB regular season games per week, the All-Star Game (with
additional rights to the Home Run Derby and the XM All-Star Futures Game), select American and National
League Division Series games, both League Championship Series and the World Series to television
audiences across Asia.
Additionally, ESS has expanded its inventory in Taiwan specifically to include the right to air up to
seven regular season games per week (an increase of four games), any and all games featuring a
Taiwanese player, and the entire MLB postseason (Division and League Championship Series games were
formally limited). ESS has been a MLB broadcast partner for the past decade.
The new agreement with FTV gives the popular Taiwanese network exclusive over-the-air television
rights in Taiwan for the first time ever. From 2007-2009, FTV will broadcast more than 60 MLB regular
season games per year, including one game every Saturday morning. FTV will also hold premier content
rights as the over-the-air home of the MLB All-Star Game and the entire MLB postseason.
"These agreements highlight the growing excitement and enthusiasm for Major League Baseball in
Asia, specifically in Taiwan," said Paul Archey, Senior Vice President, International Business Operations,
Major League Baseball. "Partners like ESS and FTV give us an ideal platform to satisfy the increasing
demand for Major League game broadcasts in Asia by showcasing all 30 Clubs and bringing international
baseball stars, like Hong-Chih Kuo and Chien-Ming Wang, unprecedented visibility in their home markets."
"We are pleased to secure a renewal of Major League Baseball rights at a time when Asian players are
enjoying unprecedented success with some of the best teams in MLB," said Jamie Davis, Managing
Director, ESPN STAR Sports. "As Asia's leading sports broadcaster, we are committed to delivering the
best sporting action, which includes MLB, to our viewers throughout Asia."
"We are very glad to ally with MLB for the next three years and FTV wants to make a difference in
promoting MLB games in Taiwan," said Kang-hsing Chen, President, FTV.
About ESPN Star Sports
ESPN STAR Sports is a 50:50 joint venture between two of the world's leading cable and satellite
broadcasters. As Asia's definitive and complete sports broadcaster and content provider, ESPN STAR
Sports combines the strengths and resources of its ultimate parent companies - Walt Disney (ESPN, Inc.)
and News Corporation Limited (STAR) - to deliver a diverse array of international and regional sports to
viewers via its encrypted pay and free-to-air services.
ESPN STAR Sports showcases an unparalleled variety of premier live sports from around the globe to a
cumulative reach of more than 276 million viewers in Asia, 24 hours a day. ESPN STAR Sports has 14
networks covering 24 countries, each localized to deliver differentiated world-class premier sports
programming to Asian viewers. This includes ESPN Asia, ESPN India, ESPN Taiwan, ESPN Singapore, ESPN
Philippines, MBC-ESPN (Korea), ESPN Hong Kong, STAR Sports Hong Kong, STAR Sports Asia, STAR
Sports India, STAR Sports Taiwan, STAR Sports Southeast Asia and STAR Sports Singapore.
On the ground, the ESPN STAR Sports Event Management Group manages and promotes premier sporting
events around Asia. The multi-lingual, online platforms, espnstar.com, espnstar.com.cn and
espnstar.com.tw and footballcrazy.tv interact with millions of users providing them with in-depth sports
news, results and competitions.
mobileESPN enables sports fans to follow their favorite sports more closely than ever with content
specially delivered via their mobile phones. mobileESPN is the first of a regional suite of services to be
offered across seven markets in Asia Pacific - Airtel (India), Hutch (India), Idea (India), BSNL (India), BPL
Mobile (India), CSL (Hong Kong), Globe Telecom (Philippines) Maxis (Malaysia), SingTel (Singapore),
Taiwan Mobile (Taiwan), Telkomsel (Indonesia), StarHub (Singapore), MobileOne (Singapore), PCCW
(Hong Kong), Sunday (Hong Kong) and Astro (Malaysia).
In 1997, Formosa Television (FTV) became Taiwan's first privately-owned, terrestrial TV station, launched
alongside a cable news channel, FTV News. FTV is one of the most diverse TV stations, tapping into
different markets with different demands. The station caters to the Mandarin Chinese, Taiwanese,
Hakkanese markets and is currently the only TV station in Taiwan to broadcast news in English.
Widespread viewer support has made FTV the terrestrial station with the highest ratings over the past
three years. FTV began providing in-flight news on China Airlines flights in 2002 keeping travelers up to
date on current events in Taiwan, at 35,000 feet in the sky. In 2005, FTV established FMTV, a digital
television channel, leading the market into the mobile TV era.