Major League Baseball International (MLBI) and Shanghai Media Group (SMG) reached a groundbreaking, three-year agreement this season that has significantly increased exposure for Major League Baseball (MLB) in the People’s Republic of China. Through the agreement, a first-of-its-kind endeavor for MLBI with a local Chinese television partner, the 2007 World Series will be broadcast live in its entirety on Great Sports, the country’s leading cable sports channel.
Financial terms were not released.
“As we continue our efforts to expand the game of baseball and the MLB brand in China, it is vital that we have the necessary partners in place to display the excitement of the game at its highest level,” said Paul Archey, Senior Vice President, International Business Operations, Major League Baseball. “This partnership with the Shanghai Media Group provides MLB with a greater platform to showcase its jewel events and deliver comprehensive coverage of the MLB season to a growing baseball nation.”
The agreement was launched in July with coverage of the 2007 All-Star Game and has continued throughout the second half of the 2007 Championship Season on a weekly basis with a China-specific edition of “This Week in Baseball.” Produced and aired by SMG, the show includes a weekly recap of MLB action and features segments entitled “Baseball Basics” and “Baseball in China” that highlight the most important elements of the game and provide viewers with in-depth coverage of the local baseball scene. “This Week in Baseball” will continue to run through the end of the postseason in its normal time slot on Fridays at 6:30 P.M. The World Series, MLB All-Star Game and “This Week in Baseball,” will air on Great Sports through 2009.
“As a leading professional sports channel, Great Sports is always delighted to work with giant international sports associations and organizations,” said Mr. Xu Sai, Chief Director of Great Sports Channel, SMG. “We are so pleased to be the long-term partner of MLB, one of the world’s largest sports leagues, and hope this cooperation will bring more exciting and wonderful sporting events to Chinese viewers.”
SMG will initiate its coverage of the 2007 World Series on Great Sports with Game One on Thursday, October 25 at 8:00 A.M. (Shanghai local time). Overall, the 2007 World Series will be broadcast in 229 countries and territories and in 13 different languages via the MLBI world feed.
Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.and is an available writer for other media outlets.
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