MP & Silva held media distribution rights for the 2013 World Baseball Classic. More than 45 television and radio partners broadcast the 2013 tournament worldwide to more than 200 countries and territories in 15 languages. Games from the previous edition of the World Baseball Classic set numerous broadcasting records around the globe. The Championship was one of the most watched sporting events in the Dominican Republic in at least the last decade and was also the most watched sporting event in Puerto Rico within the previous year. In addition, a Japan vs. Netherlands game was the most viewed sporting event in the previous 12 months in Japan, out-rating all 2012 Olympics coverage. One-third of all televisions on in Japan were tuned into the World Baseball Classic for the three first-round games played by Team Japan in Fukuoka, Japan. In Taiwan, an extra-inning thriller between Japan and Chinese Taipei was the highest-rated cable program in the country's history. The 2013 tournament also set records in attendance, licensing, sponsorship sales and social media activity as the event continued its mission of growing the sport of baseball around the world.
"MP & Silva was a valuable partner in the last edition of the tournament and we look forward to expanding our relationship with them for the 2017 World Baseball Classic," said Chris Park, Senior Vice President, Growth, Strategy & International, Major League Baseball. "This event is integral to the continued growth and development of baseball internationally and MP & Silva's experience in global media distribution will help deliver this exciting tournament to an even larger worldwide audience."
"MP & Silva has a proven track record of success with the distribution rights for events around the world, and we're thrilled to have them on board again with the World Baseball Classic for 2017," said MLBPA Chief of Business Affairs, Timothy Slavin. "We're confident the 2017 event will continue to grow the game, reach even more fans and showcase outstanding international baseball games and player performances, thanks to MP & Silva."
Marco Auletta, CEO MP & Silva, said: "We are delighted to renew our partnership with WBCI for the worldwide distribution of the 2017 World Baseball Classic. MP & Silva has a great interest in acquiring prestigious baseball properties as a way to diversify our portfolio of sports media rights. Our distribution of the 2013 World Baseball Classic enjoyed unprecedented success for global distribution and viewership, and we aim to surpass those targets with the 2017 edition."
The World Baseball Classic is the premier international baseball tournament, sanctioned by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), as the sport's official National Team World Championship, and features the best players in the world competing for their home countries and territories. More than 2.4 million fans from all over the world have attended tournament games, held in March 2006, March 2009 and March 2013. Team Dominican Republic is the reigning World Baseball Classic Champion after going undefeated during its 2013 championship run. MLB Network will be the exclusive English-language home of the 2017 World Baseball Classic in the United States.
From February 11th-14th, a Qualifier was held in Sydney, Australia where Australia defeated South Africa to advance to the World Baseball Classic tournament scheduled for March 2017. Additional Qualifiers will be held at Estadio B Air in Mexicali, Mexico on March 17th-20th (Mexico, Czech Republic, Germany, Nicaragua); Rod Carew Stadium in Panama City, Panama on March 17th-20th(Colombia, France, Panama, Spain); and MCU Park in Brooklyn, New York on September 22nd-25th(Brazil, Great Britain, Israel, Pakistan).
The winners from each Qualifier will join teams from Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela that received automatic invitations based on their performance in the 2013 tournament.
About World Baseball Classic, Inc.
World Baseball Classic, Inc. (WBCI) is a company created at the direction of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) to operate the World Baseball Classic tournament. The tournament, which is sanctioned by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), is supported by MLB, the MLBPA, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), their respective players associations and other leagues and players from around the world.
About the World Baseball Softball Confederation
The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is the global governing body for the sports of baseball and softball resulting from the merger of the International Baseball Federation and International Softball Federation in 2013. WBSC sanctions all international competitions, including Premier12, World Baseball Classic and the Baseball World Cups, which involve any of the National Teams of its 208 National Federation members in 141 countries and territories worldwide. For more information, visit www.wbsc.org.
About MP & Silva
MP & Silva is a leading international media company that owns, manages and distributes television and media rights to some of the most prestigious sports events around the world. With an annual turnover in excess of USD 720 million, MP & Silva's portfolio includes the FIFA World Cup 2018 & 2022, UEFA EURO 2016, Italian Serie A TIM, English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, French Ligue 1, the Emirates FA Cup, Copa America 2015, Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana & Copa do Brazil, Brazilian national league (Brasileirão), Arsenal Football Club, the AC Milan Channel, French Open at Roland Garros, eight ATP World Tour tennis tournaments, EHF Handball Champions League, the Formula One, World Baseball Classic, the Premier 12 World Baseball Championships, National Football League, National Basketball Association, Spanish Basketball League (Liga Endesa). Headquartered in London and Singapore, MP & Silva operates worldwide through regional offices in Beijing, Budapest, Dubai, Dublin, Hanoi, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Luxembourg, Madrid, Miami, Monaco, Munich, Nairobi, New York, Paris, Taipei, Tokyo and Warsaw. www.mpsilva.com