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ESPN Nearing Deal To Broadcast KBO Games

Written by Dylan Steffen

Eclat, Korean Baseball Organization’s (KBO) international rights holder, and ESPN reportedly are nearing a deal that would allow ESPN to air multiple KBO games per week. Jee-Ho Yoo of South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported last week ESPN looked to acquire broadcasting rights without any payment. Eclat shut down ESPN of reaching that deal right away and after talks went nowhere.

The KBO’s regular season is set to begin on May 5th, over a month after the initial season opener of March 28th due to COVID-19. When the 10-team league begins it’s season it will be the second professional baseball league to start their season, after the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan started their season April 11th. The KBO will begin their season without fans but MBC’s Daniel Kim says that the league is coming up with a plan to moderately allow fans into stadiums.

Several health directives will be put in place for players and other game day personnel, including but not limited to, multiple tests per player prior to each game, no spitting, everybody throughout the stadium will wear masks except on the field/in the dug out, and gloves and masks for umpires. If a player shows symptoms of COVID-19 they will be immediately tested and quarantined as well as his stadium will be subjected to a 48-hour cleaning closure. A positive test would prompt an immediate meeting about potential stoppage of games.

Additional details have not been released because the deal isn’t official. Be sure to stick with PSE and I will make sure you get more details as the deal becomes official. You can follow me on Twitter @PSEDylanSteffen for more.

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Dylan Steffen