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Korean Baseball Newsbeat

Thursday, April 23, 2020

ESPN – KBO broadcasting deal in jeopardy after ESPN tried to acquire rights for free

Yonhap News is reporting that ESPN’s attempt to acquire broadcasting rights to the KBO League, South Korea’s major baseball league, might be coming up short due to ESPN wanting the rights for free.


ESPN’s desire to show Korean baseball was understandable given the lack of ongoing American sports, but free broadcasting rights are quite an outlandish request. The KBO has practically all of the leverage in this scenario given that ESPN has the need for content, and the league has that content. It’s unclear where exactly ESPN got the idea that they could somehow show KBO games without having to pay for the right to do so.

Mind you, in certain regards this behavior (such as it is) isn’t a surprise- note how many of the second-tier events on the Worldwide Leader got to them by paying for the airtime.


QLE Posted: April 23, 2020 at 01:01 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: espn, greed, korean baseball

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The Korean Baseball Organization OMNICHATTER

The preseason for the Korean Baseball Organization has begun (as discussed in the link), with the regular season expected to begin on May 5th.

For those interested in discussing it, the thread is open.

QLE Posted: April 22, 2020 at 01:07 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: korean baseball, omnichatter

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Half a World Away, the Korea Baseball Organization Looks to Play

There’s no joy in Mudville or anywhere else in the United States as far as the 2020 baseball season goes, but halfway around the globe, the story is very different. The Chinese Professional Baseball League regular season got underway on April 11 in Taiwan, and the Korea Baseball Organization is poised to resume its exhibition season in South Korea on April 21, also without fans in attendance, with an eye towards beginning its regular season in early May. The twist is that both leagues are playing to empty ballparks due to prohibitions against large gatherings as a means of combating the spread of the novel coronavirus. But where Major League Baseball is staring down the very real possibility that its entire season could be wiped out due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both foreign leagues have been able to reopen thanks to their respective countries’ success in containing the outbreak, even if it’s not quite business as usual. Now, through the magic of streaming video, and possibly television, they’re poised to become the center of the baseball world.

Already, the five-team CPBL has begun streaming games on Twitter (in English, via Eleven Sports) and YouTube. For about $35, one can subscribe to CPBL TV (here’s a step-by-step guide in case you’re intimidated by the language barrier). The 10-team KBO began streaming intrasquad exhibitions on YouTube on March 23 — a Lotte Giants intrasquad game featuring former major leaguers Dan Straily and Adrian Sampson starting for the opposing teams — after its exhibition season was postponed. Naver, one of their internet portals, will stream KBO games domestically but right now no agreement for overseas has been announced, though ESPN has approached the league about airing games in the U.S.

Earlier this week, in an effort to give myself a crash course in the KBO — beyond its epic bat flips, of course — and then share it with our audience, I conducted email interviews with three team employees, two of whom will be familiar to FanGraphs readers. Both Josh Herzenberg and Sung Min Kim wrote for this site as recently as last year and now work for the Lotte Giants. Herzenberg, who spent time in the Dodgers’ amateur scouting and player development departments before contributing to FanGraphs, was hired this past winter to be the team’s pitching coordinator and quality control coach, while Kim, a South Korea native who grew up in the States, graduated from the University of Maryland in 2015, and wrote for River Avenue Blues, VICE Sports, the Washington Post, and FanGraphs before being hired into the Giants’ R&D department last fall; while at FanGraphs, he documented the experiences of foreign-born KBO playersas well as the fan culture, the de-juiced baseball, and more. The third participant was Aaron Tassano, an Arizona-based international scout for the Samsung Lions who lived in South Korea for about eight years and previously worked for the Cubs, Rays, and Astros. All three were generous with their time in answering my questions.

To Tassano, the current MLB outage represents “a unique opportunity to put the Korean interpretation of the game on an international stage. On a larger scale, it shines a very positive light on South Korea as a whole and begs the question how it, along with Taiwan and the CPBL, arrived at this point in its fight with the coronavirus that both countries can open their professional baseball seasons in April and May. To say it’s a testimony to both countries would be an understatement.”

Note to self: once I’ve heard that the Korean Baseball Organization clearly has started up again, be sure to set up an OMNICHATTER for them too…..


QLE Posted: April 18, 2020 at 01:03 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: korean baseball

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Report: ESPN inquires about broadcasting Korean baseball

Oh please let this happen!

It is unknown when the Major League Baseball season will finally be able to get underway, but baseball may be returning to American airwaves soon.

According to Daniel Kim, who covers MLB and the Korean Baseball Organization, ESPN has approached the KBO about broadcasting its games during the shutdown.

Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 14, 2020 at 11:06 AM | 121 comment(s)
  Beats: espn, kbo, korean baseball

Friday, March 06, 2020

Coronavirus Concern Keeping South Korea’s Kia Tigers in Florida

FORT MYERS, Fla. — When the Kia Tigers got to the ballpark one day last week, a coworker put a gun to their heads.

36.5° Celsius, the non-contact digital thermometer reported. Normal. Every player on the team was within healthy range. The testing was strictly precautionary—no one seemed sick—but amid the global coronavirus pandemic, you can’t blame them for wanting to be sure.

The Tigers, based in Gwangju, South Korea, are the most successful team in Korean professional baseball history, with 11 championships. Last July, they made plans to spend spring training in Fort Myers, Fla. But now that the coronavirus has taken hold at home, they are stuck here.

It’s “a difficult situation,” said Tigers manager Matt Williams, who skippered the Washington Nationals for two years and spent the last two seasons as bench coach for the Oakland A’s.


QLE Posted: March 06, 2020 at 12:53 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, kia tigers, korean baseball, spring training



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