Play Ball! Professional Baseball is Back on ESPN as South Korean League Resumes Play

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The South Korean Baseball League is the only game in town and realizing that, ESPN signed a deal to broadcast KBO League games.  Tuesday marked the official opening day of the 2020 season, perhaps the only professional baseball program worldwide that has resumed play.  While Major League Baseball contemplates on how to restart their season, the folks in South Korea are already at it.

“ESPN today announced it has reached an agreement with Eclat Media Group regarding the KBO League – South Korea’s most popular sports league – to exclusively televise six, live regular-season games per week in the U.S. starting with Opening Day,” ESPN said.  “The telecasts will air Tuesdays-Fridays at 5:30 a.m. ET, Saturdays at 4 a.m. ET and Sundays at 1 a.m. ET.”

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As part of the agreement, ESPN will become the exclusive English-language home for KBO League live games and highlights for the 2020 season. The deal includes the postseason and the Korea Series best-of-seven championship. ESPN’s game selections will be made and announced on a week-to-week basis during the season. The telecast schedule and ESPN platform is subject to change pending future live event considerations.

“We’re thrilled to become the exclusive English-language home to the KBO League and to showcase its compelling action and high-level of competition. We have a longstanding history of documenting the game of baseball and we’re excited to deliver these live events to sports fans,” Burke Magnus, ESPN executive vice president, programming.

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ESPN play-by-play voices, analysts and reporters will provide commentary in English, remotely, from their home studios. ESPN baseball commentators contributing to KBO League coverage include Karl Ravech, Jon Sciambi, Eduardo Perez, Jessica Mendoza and Kyle Peterson. The team of Ravech and Perez will call the Lions vs. Dinos season-opener, as well as the May 6 and May 7 games.

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The KBO League is one of the greatest baseball leagues with world-class players and many exciting initiatives. During this unprecedented and difficult time, I hope the KBO League can bring consolation to the communities and provide guidelines to the world of sports. I am pleased that the KBO League can be introduced globally and hope this can be an opportunity for the development of our league and the sport,” Un-Chan Chung, Commissioner of the Korea Baseball Organization said.

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In addition to the game telecasts, ESPN will also air highlights from KBO League games within its news and information programming, including SportsCenter. Highlights from all KBO League games will be available and are not limited to the games ESPN will televise. ESPN.com will also document the 2020 KBO League season.

KBO League on ESPN season-opening highlights:

  • Multiple appearances each by the NC Dinos, Samsung Lions and LG Twins.
  • Defending Korea Series Champions Doosan Bears in action Wednesday.
  • 11-time KBO League Champion KIA Tigers take on the Lions Friday.