Major League Baseball expands European presence on ESPN
ESPN and Major League Baseball International have inked a multi-year extension of their current European television rights agreement, which will make ESPN America the continued home of MLB games across more than 40 countries and nearly 19 million households across Europe. The first game shown under the new agreement saw the New York Yankees beat the Detroit Tigers 6-3 at a freezingly cold Yankee Stadium.
The deal also extends to other ESPN networks, such as the company’s ESPN channel in the UK, which will show multiple live games each week throughout the season.
The deal will provide baseball fans with the most extensive season-long coverage of Major League Baseball to date, including pre-season Spring Training games, more than 300 regular season games, the entire MLB Playoffs – including the Division Series’, American League and National League Championship Series’ and the World Series. The agreement will also include rights to the annual MLB All-Star programming which includes the All-Star Game, Home Run Derby, Futures Game and Celebrity Softball Game.
Michael Walters, vice president, programming, ESPN International, said: “Around the world, ESPN and Major League Baseball have worked together to bring the sport of baseball to fans for decades now, and we are delighted to continue that long-standing and successful relationship. This agreement will allow ESPN’s networks, led by ESPN America, to bring more baseball to fans than ever before.”
“Renewing our agreement with ESPN allows baseball fans around the world to continue enjoying Major League Baseball from Opening Day through the World Series,” said Paul Archey, senior vice president, International Business Operations, Major League Baseball. “We are looking forward to once again working with ESPN to connect with our current fan base and to continue our commitment to develop new fans of the game globally.”