Coming to millions of televisions in China: Opening Night, and more baseball after that in 2010.
For the first time, Major League Baseball's season opener will be televised live in China, broadcast by five outlets reaching nearly 300 million viewers, MLB announced Friday. The All-Star Game, postseason games and "This Week in Baseball" also will be broadcast in China this year as part of baseball's partnerships with 90 international broadcasters.
The World Series champion Yankees meet the rival Red Sox at Boston's Fenway Park in the season opener Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, and they'll be watching in China. They'll be watching baseball throughout 2010 in Japan, Taiwan, Panama and hundreds of other international locations, broadcast in 19 languages to fans in 219 countries and territories around the world.
"We strive to bring the 30 MLB Clubs and the more than 800 MLB players -- nearly 30 percent of whom hail from outside of the United States -- to our international fan base. Television and radio exposure are a primary vehicle for doing this," said Paul Archey, MLB's senior vice president for international business operations. "We are extremely excited to get the 2010 MLB season under way and to welcome billions of viewers around the world to follow along with us."
MLB International enters into new agreements with two broadcast partners in China: Chongqing TV (CTV) and Shaanxi TV. MLBI has existing agreements with Jiangsu TV and Shenzhen TV, which began with the 2009 World Series and includes the 2010 MLB All-Star Game, 2010 World Series and episodes of TWIB, and with Guangdong TV (GDTV) in southern China, which will broadcast TWIB, regular season games and the World Series.
MLB also announced Puerto Rico's broadcast station WAPA and WAPA 2 will have games this year, and that longtime partnerships have been extended with Dentsu (Japan); ESPN Star Sports (Pan-Asia); Le Reseau de Sport (Canada), RPC and TV Max (Panama) and Formosa TV (Taiwan).
John Schlegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.