Fifty-one media outlets have signed on to broadcast the 2017 World Baseball Classic, which opened Monday in Seoul, South Korea, and will be distributed via media platforms in 182 countries and territories worldwide with a global reach of more than 415 million households.In addition to local language coverage and play-by-play,
Fifty-one media outlets have signed on to broadcast the 2017 World Baseball Classic, which opened Monday in Seoul, South Korea, and will be distributed via media platforms in 182 countries and territories worldwide with a global reach of more than 415 million households.
In addition to local language coverage and play-by-play, World Baseball Classic Inc. (WBCI) will offer a fully produced English-language feed of each game for global distribution.
:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::
The 17-day event runs through March 22. In the U.S., games will air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN will provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. will have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices.
The full list of broadcasting partners can be found here.
Broadcasts from the 2013 World Baseball Classic set numerous records. That final was one of the most watched sporting events in Dominican Republic history and was the year's most watched sporting event in Puerto Rico. Japan vs. the Netherlands (March 10, 2013) was the most viewed sporting event over the previous 12 months in Japan, outrating all 2012 Olympic coverage. In Chinese Taipei, an extra-inning thriller between Japan and Chinese Taipei was the highest-rated cable program in the country's history.
In the U.S., the 2013 World Baseball Classic delivered MLB Network's seven most-watched games outside of the postseason. The 2013 Classic also delivered the Network's most-watched March and the most-watched first quarter in its history. The 2013 final was the most-viewed baseball game ever on ESPN Deportes at the time.
In 2009, the Korea vs. Japan final (March 23, 2009) averaged more than 14 million viewers across Korea, where all nine Team Korea tournament games achieved an average audience of 9.4 million. In the inaugural 2006 Classic, the Cuba vs Japan final received the third-best rating at the time for any professional baseball broadcast in Japan since 1977.
"As international baseball's premier event, the World Baseball Classic deserves the finest global stage," said Dominick Balsamo, MLB's vice president of international media sales and marketing partnerships. "Together, our media partners for the 2017 event provide a far-reaching worldwide platform that will serve the demand of baseball fans everywhere."
Rosters for this World Baseball Classic feature tournament-record totals of 63 Major League All-Stars and 259 players under contract with MLB organizations.
"With so many outstanding players participating, the anticipation for an exciting and action packed tournament is high," said Timothy Slavin, MLB Players Association chief of business affairs. "We expect record-breaking television audiences will witness some incredible performances."
For the second time, WBCI worked with MP & Silva, a leading international media rights agency, on the global media distribution for the tournament.
"The World Baseball Classic is a truly premium global sports property that excites baseball fans around the world," said Jochen Losch, chief executive officer at MP & Silva. "I'm pleased that MP & Silva has been able to use its international network to secure broadcasting deals covering more than 170 territories for the tournament. MP & Silva is proud of its relationship with the World Baseball Classic and we are delighted to have contributed towards the tournament's global visibility, fan engagement and commercial success."
Get tickets for games at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com and a baseball writer since 1990. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog.