ESPN Gets World Baseball Classic


ESPN has domestic coverage of the inaugural World Baseball Classic all wrapped up.

Through an agreement with Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Syndication will be the exclusive English-language carriers of the event, which will pit teams from 16 nations and territories against each other during March.

Moreover, ESPN Deportes, the sports giant’s Spanish-language network in the United States, will carry all 39 games of the WBC.

ESPN and ESPN2 will provide 16 live telecasts, notably the semifinals and finals live on ESPN March 18 and 20, respectively. ESPN Syndication will package 14 games to a number of outlets, according to network officials.

Globally, ESPN International will present telecasts in Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and the Middle East.

ESPN will also have footage rights for all of its new-media platforms, including Mobile ESPN, (, ( and broadband service ESPN 360.

“This is yet another exciting new chapter in ESPN’s growing relationship with MLB and the MLBPA,” ESPN senior vice president of programming and acquisitions Len DeLuca said in a prepared statement.

“We will have coverage across multiple ESPN platforms,” he added. “This will add to the madness of March. From the first games in Japan March 3 to the World Baseball Classic’s semis and championship on ESPN and ESPN Deportes March 18 and 20, we’re introducing a great concept -- the best Major Leaguers playing for their nations.”