ESPN Reportedly Nearing Broadcast Deal with Korean Baseball Organization

(Getty Images photo)

While it normally wouldn’t sound like overwhelmingly exciting news, the idea that ESPN might soon be reaching a broadcast deal with the Korean Baseball Organization could mean that Americans may finally have their chance to see live games, ending a hiatus of live baseball that began for some as early as late last year.

The report behind the rumor originated with the Yonhap News Agency in Seoul on Monday, although the main source of the information has decided to remain anonymous.

This latest news surrounding a prospective agreement comes less than a week after ESPN’s negotiations with the KBO were apparently shut down. Initial information indicated that ESPN was seeking the broadcast rights for free, but that inquiry was nixed by Eclat, the entity that owns the international distribution rights for KBO games.

The specifics are still vague, but according to Yonhap reports, ESPN would be airing multiple games per week until Major League Baseball begins to gear up for its season, if a 2020 MLB Opening Day eventually becomes a reality.

Details regarding the exact duration of the deal and proposed financial terms were not immediately revealed.

According to the YNA website, the KBO’s regular season is scheduled to begin on May 5, more than a month after being pushed back from the original March 28 Opening Day due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be the second pro baseball league to begin during the pandemic. The Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan was the first to resume its regular season activities.

Steve Adams at MLBTR highlighted some of the parameters that might conceivably take place with regards to health and safety standards. Adams stated that there will be multiple health regulations in place, including “multiple tests per player prior to games, no spitting allowed, players and personnel in masks throughout the stadium except on the field/in the dugout, gloves and masks for umpires, along with a  strong discouragement of handshakes and high-fives.”

Adams went on further, writing that “a player showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be immediately be tested and quarantined, while his stadium would be subject to a 48-hour closure for cleaning. A positive test from a player wouldn’t necessarily shut down the league but would prompt an immediate meeting between owners, league officials and health experts about the potential stoppage of play.”

Several notable players currently participating in the KBO who were previously affiliated with the MLB include former Dodgers infield prospect Jose Miguel Fernandez, righty pitcher Raul Alcantara and outfielder Aaron Altherr.

The idea that American fans—as well as viewers from other parts of the world—might soon get at least a weekly fix of live baseball from one of the world’s most renowned leagues should provide a much needed dose of live sports entertainment during this especially trying time.



30 thoughts on “ESPN Reportedly Nearing Broadcast Deal with Korean Baseball Organization

  1. Yuck, people are too hard up if they are seriously resorting to viewing Korean Baseball.

    Do they allow plastic trashcans in the dugouts in Korea?

    BTW, MLB is not too far away from opening up, before you go and subscribe to the KMLB package, cheering for the Seoul Souls or something.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. For those who don’t plan to watch Korean baseball, here’s something you can browse while waiting for MLB to get going.
    Don’t bother with this link if you aren’t into Dodger prospects but if you are there is some really interesting reading here:
    He uses an Excel spreadsheet so after reviewing what the various categories are, go to the bottom of the spreadsheet.


    1. Maybe the KBO will amend their roster rules, expanding squads to allow an additional four to five players. That way, MLB teams could send a few hopefuls to Asia for work ahead of the season. I’m talking guys like Yadier Alvarez, Yaisel Sierra, etc.


      1. Sounds like an excellent solution, especially for those two.
        Now that I’ve totally given up on Yadier, I’m prepared for him to be a Hall of Famer.


      1. I have been desperate enough to watch some of the DodgerNation simulated season games. They almost seem real! The Dodgers are on an 8 game winning streak, 19-10 overall.


  3. It looks like they are going to postpone the HOF induction ceremony until next year. Jeter, Walker, Simmons and Miller were supposed to be inducted in August. There was also a teleconference with the White House about possible start up dates and guidelines. So maybe something is being worked out for us to see big league baseball. They are talking about using the new Rangers ball park as one of the neutral sites.


  4. Don’t know if anyone went to the prospect link I attached above. Maybe nobody is interested, but if you are, in other news MLB just published a list of the 30 top international prospects for this year. Number one is Cespedes’ younger brother. Number two is a young Venezuelan shortstop, Wilman Diaz. Supposedly we’re the favorites to sign him. Seems like we have some very good scouting going on in Venezuela these days. A number of our better, younger guys have come from there lately.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As screwed up as that country is I would bet they are trying to do anything they can to get out of their. Interesting site Jefe. Got my stimulus check deposited this morning, so now I can get my fishing license and head for the hills.


    1. Don’t know the guy’s name. I stumbled across him on Twitter a few months ago.
      He goes by @FutureDodgers there.
      Or you can find him at
      I’ve looked but I don’t see anywhere that he’s actually identified himself. I wish he would because I’d like to know a little about his background, etc.
      Dennis/Andy, you don’t happen to know anything about him do you?


  5. Got my check, went to Wally world and loaded up on the stuff I needed, and a couple I did not. Got some pretty good bargains though, and my fishin license. Just one problem. now there is a worm shortage. Damn


    1. Most of the lakes here are filled with trout. Some of the bigger lakes have crappie, trout, bass and catfish. My friend Butch has a smoker, and we sometimes smoke them. Pretty good eating.


  6. I don’t like the taste of fish much, so I catch and release all the bass, if I happen to catch some trout or crappie I bring them home to my buddies mom, she loves to fish, but shes in her mid eighties, and it’s tough for her to go now. She’s always thrilled when I bring some. A couple years ago I was fishing for bass, and I got into some big crappie, brought her home a half dozen, that went between a pound and a half, and two pounds, she was so tickled.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Never been a big bass guy. When I lived in Cali all those year ago, I used to have a buddy who ran a boat out of 22nd street landing in San Pedro. He used to comp me, and I would go on the overnight boat out to Catalina. We caught all kinds of fish out there. I hooked some pretty nice Barracuda, which when filleted make pretty good steaks. The helpers on the boat would have them all cut up and packaged by the time we got back to port. Lots of fun. I hooked a big Albacore once, but he snapped my line like it was nothing. Me and my friend Gary used to go to Irvine Lake, and a few times I went to Santa Ana river lakes. You paid to get in. Some of the trout taken out of those 2 lakes have been 20 pounders. I caught a 9 pound cat at Santa Ana.


  7. Looks like baseball is considering a 3 division 10 team alignment geographically. Dodgers would be in a division with the Angels, Giants, Padres, D-Backs, A’s, Mariners, Rangers, Astros, and Rockies. Would cut down travel for sure. Dodgers-Astros poses some interesting scenarios.


      1. I actually kind of like this one. It renews and old rivalry with the Astros, and it makes some new ones. Could be very interesting for sure. They are counting on getting in close to 100 games.


  8. Andy, on your post from today, I don’t see any place for comments. Is it just me, or did you forget to flip a switch?


  9. Think this is all we will get this year. Resumption of mbl sounds like a pipe dream. There are way, way to many economic, health and political problems to make a resumption of play make sense. Every time anyone associate with a team tests positive they shut down for 15 days? And we haven’t really heard from the teams, just the commissioner. Can’t imagine why the owners would want to go ahead without fan revenue. Pretty sure most will prefer to take their losses and wait for next year.
    By the way I like the 3 division, 100 game solution. Just don’t see how it is possible.


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