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MLB Reaches New Broadcast Agreements in China.

Byline: Maury Brown

Major League Baseball International (MLBI) has entered into new agreements with three additional broadcast partners in China, bringing total regional coverage of the 2009 World Series to five networks reaching more than 250 million potential viewers across Beijing, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shanghai and Shenzhen. New deals with Shenzhen TV and Jiangsu TV will begin with the 2009 World Series and include the 2010 MLB All-Star Game, 2010 World Series and episodes of "This Week in Baseball" (TWIB); a new agreement with Beijing TV will bring the 2009 Fall Classic to fans in the nation's capital. MLBI has existing relationships with Shanghai Media Group (SMG) and Guangdong TV. Since 2007, SMG has broadcast the World Series, MLB All-Star Game and a China-specific edition of "This Week in Baseball." Guangdong TV, one of the largest and most influential sports stations in southern China, broadcasts TWIB, regular season games and the World Series and will be on hand to call the action live for the 2009 Fall Classic.

MLBI also has agreements with 50 television and radio partners to broadcast the American League Championship Series (ALCS) and World Series in 15 languages to 233 countries and territories around the world. MLBI, which will utilize its own production team and facilities for the postseason telecasts, available in both standard and high definition, also will broadcast the games to nearly one million United States Armed Forces personnel stationed around the world and aboard U.S. Naval ships-at-sea via the Armed Forces Network.

"The tremendous passion for baseball all across the globe is demonstrated by the interest in Major League Baseball games, especially the World Series," said Paul Archey, Senior Vice President, International Business Operations, Major League Baseball. "MLB is committed to baseball's continued development and exposure, and we are extremely excited about our extended reach in China, as well as our partnerships with broadcasters around the world."

Along with MLB International's broadcast of the World Series, there will be six foreign broadcasters on hand for live commentary, including television broadcasters from Canada, China, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Mexico and Panama. FOX Sports en EspaA[+ or -]ol and ESPN International will also call the action live from both sites.

Veteran broadcasters Dave O'Brien and Cy Young award winner, three-time All-Star and National League Rookie of the Year Rick Sutcliffe will call the action for this year's ALCS and World Series for MLB International. Sutcliffe has worked as a broadcaster for MLB International's postseason telecasts since 2004, and serves as an ESPN Major League Baseball Analyst, appearing on Wednesday night telecasts since 2002 and for ESPN Radio during the Division Series this year. O'Brien, who will broadcast his sixth postseason for MLB International, joined ESPN in 2002 as a play-by-play commentator where he currently works on MLB Wednesday night telecasts. O'Brien is also the radio play-by-play voice for the Boston Red Sox.

Source: Major League Baseball



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Author:Brown, Maury
Publication:The Biz of Baseball
Date:Oct 15, 2009
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