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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) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: espn, greed, korean baseball

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: April 23, 2020 at 01:41 AM (#5943317)
Hey, this is no time to be playing politics ... or economics ... or whatever. We need to pull together, so we can all get through this and ESPN is just asking the KBO to do its share. It's just like how ESPN's remaining advertisers are doing their share by paying for ad time.

I suppose it's theoretically possible that enough fans will get interested that they will make the trip to S Korea some day to see their newly beloved teams in action or at least buy some merchandise such that it would actually make sense for the KBO to give the rights for free -- but I highly doubt it.

On the bright side, not only has Oz rugby announced a May 28 return (we'll see how that goes) but the Aussie-rules football league is also reportedly getting ready to set a return date. So it could be back to the future for ESPN. Any chance for sumo? (I'd think not but...)
   2. asinwreck Posted: April 23, 2020 at 08:27 AM (#5943346)
Small businesses like Disney can't survive without help.
   3. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 23, 2020 at 10:19 AM (#5943382)
If I'm running Fox Sports (or NBC Sports or CBS Sports), I'm at least kicking the tires on a KBO contract. It seems like a perfect low risk, medium reward deal; there's a reasonable chance it would become a cult hit and create buzz for the network. And if it doesn't, well, I can't imagine they'd be out a huge amount of money.

Nobody's getting those rights for free, but it's also not going to cost tens of millions of dollars.
   4. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: April 23, 2020 at 11:10 AM (#5943404)
Oz rugby announced a May 28 return (we'll see how that goes) but the Aussie-rules football league is also reportedly getting ready to set a return date

I've seen these sports. They're so dangerous that the marginal addition of Covid-19 risk barely registers. At least in American football they wear padding.
   5. Pirate Joe Posted: April 23, 2020 at 07:49 PM (#5943714)
Nobody's getting those rights for free, but it's also not going to cost tens of millions of dollars.

"Free" is probably really close to what they are actually worth.

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