Korean professional baseball will be broadcast live in the U.S. The story that started like a rumor has become a reality. What is the actual expected effect?
The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) officially announced the sale of broadcasting rights to the U.S. and Japan on Friday night. Live broadcasts will take place through the U.S. sports channel “ESPN” and Japanese sports channel “SPOZONE” before the opening of the KBO League regular season, which begins on May 5. “ESPN” is scheduled to broadcast live TV broadcasts throughout the U.S. one game a day every day, and the first game, the Daegu NC Dinos-Samsung Lions, will be broadcast on the main channel of “ESPN.” The rest of the games scheduled for this week’s broadcast will visit U.S. viewers through the “ESPN2” channel.
Akla, the KBO’s overseas broadcasting rights business agency, has been negotiating with “ESPN” since last month. Early in the negotiations, “ESPN” faced difficulties as it demanded a free broadcast, citing difficult economic conditions, but the negotiations were concluded dramatically to minimize each other’s losses. KBO and “ESPN” did not disclose specific conditions regarding the sale and purchase of broadcasting rights.
In addition, the KBO League will be broadcast live through “SPOZONE” in Japan by wired and wireless. “SPOZONE” is serviced for two games a day.
The atmosphere in America is definitely different.
The atmosphere of U.S. news media watching live KBO League broadcasts is different than usual. He is showing more interest in the Korea Baseball Organization and KBO leagues than ever before. Not only “ESPN,” but also major media outlets such as “NBC Sports,” “Yahoo Sports” and “FOX Sports” are running articles highlighting the KBO league every day. Most of them are “guide” articles that introduce Korean baseball to U.S. baseball fans and make it easy to understand the KBO league. While Major League Baseball (MLB) and other U.S. professional sports have yet to determine the exact timing of the opening or how to resume the league, Korea, which has emerged as a successful case of Corona 19, has drawn keen attention in itself as it is starting professional baseball. With news that “ESPN” could broadcast in the KBO League, articles related to the KBO League were poured out almost every day.
ESPN, one of the world’s largest sports channels, is also preparing to broadcast in the KBO League in depth. He seems to have actively jumped in by preparing highlight programs to deliver news from the KBO League and deploying major castors on the air. The sale of broadcasting rights itself is not limited in meaning. It is impressive that the atmosphere of the U.S. accepting Korean baseball, which is considered lower than MLB, is more friendly than ever.
Realistic viewing effect, will it?
In reality, it is hard to say that live KBO league broadcasts will be extremely popular with U.S. baseball fans. Most of the time broadcast live is late at night or early in the morning. Due to the time difference, the KBO League daytime games start at 1 a.m. based on eastern U.S. time, and the evening games start at 5:30 a.m. Based on the western time, which is three hours later, games are usually organized late at night, such as 10 p.m. or 2:30 a.m. “ESPN” will broadcast two live games twice a day on the “ESPN2” channel in the afternoon, including a re-recorded broadcast, a total of three times a day.
Also, just because U.S. baseball fans watch the KBO League, there is not much chance that many of them will be new fans supporting Korean baseball. Now, there is interest in the KBO league as its professional sports have stopped in the aftermath of Corona 19, but once the MLB season begins, attention will be focused on MLB again.
a new springboard for Korean professional baseball.
It is undeniable that the KBO League is a very good opportunity to upgrade its image globally. It is the best opportunity to promote 10 KBO league clubs and players to major countries such as the United States and Japan. Even if the sale of the relay rights is not immediately linked to “big money,” it will be of much help to boost the KBO league status in the international community. The estimated effect, which cannot be counted, is enormous
In addition, if the KBO League, which decided to open without any problems such as the occurrence of confirmed people in the future, is successfully held in the season, and gradually implemented from the perspective of the audience, it could itself be an “exemplary sample” for other countries. MLB, in particular, is highly interested in managing quarantine in the KBO League. Aside from simply assessing the league’s level of play, it is a chance to raise its status in operations.