Press Release Major League Baseball
World Baseball Classic, Inc. (WBCI) today announced the broadcast schedule for the Sydney, Australia Qualifier, which will be played February 11th-14th at Blacktown International Sportspark. The winner of the Qualifier, which features Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and South Africa, will advance to compete in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, the fourth installment of the premier international baseball tournament featuring many of the world’s greatest players.
Fans in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico will be able to watch the Final of the Qualifier on MLB Network live at 10:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 14th as well as three additional games, including the first game of the host team Australia.
In addition, all six games will be available live and on-demand at no charge on WorldBaseballClassic.com for fans in the United States and Puerto Rico. Gameday pitch tracking will allow fans around the world to follow every pitch and see up-to-the moment stats and have access to complete coverage including video highlights and select pre- and post-game press conferences.
ESPN Pac-Rim, a long-standing partner of MLB International, will carry each game either live or on delay for fans in Australia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, New Zealand, Palau, Western Samoa and Tahiti. The games will also appear on Solar Sports in the Philippines. Following is the complete broadcast information for the Sydney Qualifier.
|QUALIFIER 1: Sydney, Australia|
|Game Date||Local||ET||Match-up (Home team in bold)||Broadcast Information|
|Thu, Feb 11||1:00pm||9:00pm†||South Africa vs. New Zealand||ESPN Pac-Rim: Live|
|Thu, Feb 11||7:30pm||3:30am||Philippines vs. Australia||MLB Network: Live
ESPN Pac-Rim: Live
|Fri, Feb 12||1:00pm||9:00pm†||Philippines* vs. TBD||ESPN Pac-Rim: Live|
|Fri, Feb 12||7:30pm||3:30am||Australia* vs. TBD||MLB Network: Live
ESPN Pac-Rim: Live
|Sat, Feb 13||6:30pm||2:30am||TBD vs. TBD||MLB Network: Live
ESPN Pac-Rim: Delay to 12:30pm on Feb 14
|Sun, Feb 14||2:00pm||10:00pm†||Finalist 2 vs. Finalist 1||MLB Network: Live
ESPN Pac-Rim: Delay to 11:00pm
* Teams will play at listed game time regardless of whether they win or lose their opening game.
† Game is played previous calendar day ET
Following the Sydney Qualifier, additional Qualifiers will be held at Estadio B Air in Mexicali, Mexico on March 17th-20th (Mexico, Czech Republic, Germany, Nicaragua); Rod Carew Stadium in Panama City, Panama on March 17th-20th (Colombia, France, Panama, Spain); and MCU Park in Brooklyn, New York on September 22nd-25th (Brazil, Great Britain, Israel, Pakistan).
The Qualifiers will feature a six-game, modified double-elimination format. The composition of the pools was determined after venues were selected, with consideration given to competitive balance, existing rivalries and each national team’s geographic location.
The winners from each Qualifier will advance to the World Baseball Classic tournament, scheduled for March 2017. Those four teams will join the 12 countries – Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela – that received automatic invitations based on their performance in the 2013 tournament. MLB Network will be the exclusive English-language home of the 2017 World Baseball Classic in the United States.
The Qualifiers were originally introduced prior to the 2013 World Baseball Classic, when Qualifiers were held in Panama City; Regensburg, Germany; Jupiter, Florida; and Taipei, Taiwan during the fall of 2012. The inaugural World Baseball Classic was held in 2006 prior to ensuing editions in 2009 and 2013.