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ESPN Snags Rights to Korean Baseball League

(Image credit: ESPN)

BRISTOL, Conn.—ESPN is ready to play ball with South Korea’s KBO baseball league, announcing a deal that will give the network exclusive English-language rights to air live games starting on the league’s opening day, May 5, and will include the regular season, postseason and Korean best-of-seven championship.

ESPN’s play-by-play voices, analysts and reporters will cover the game in English remotely from their home studios, including Karl Ravech, Jon Sciambi, Eduardo Perez, Jessica Mendoza and Kyle Peterson.

There will be six games aired live each week, Tuesday-Sunday, airing on ESPN 2 and the ESPN app. Tuesday-Fridays the games will air at 5:30 a.m. ET; Saturdays at 4 a.m. ET; and Sundays at 1 a.m. ET.

Highlights from league games will also be shown on ESPN information programming, including “SportsCenter.”

The telecast schedule and ESPN platform for league games is subject to change pending future live event considerations, said ESPN.

This will be among the first live sporting events ESPN will have aired since U.S. professional leagues were suspended following the outbreak of the coronavirus. South Korea experienced an outbreak of COVID-19 earlier in the year, but has reached a point where it is comfortable with playing professional sports.

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“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,” said Un-Chan Chung, commissioner of the Korean Baseball Organization, on the ESPN deal.