Press Release Major League Baseball
MP & Silva, a leading international media rights agency, has been granted the global media distribution rights for all games of the 2017 World Baseball Classic and Qualifiers, the premier international baseball tournament featuring many of the world’s greatest players. The worldwide agreement – excluding Japan, Puerto Rico and the United States – grants MP & Silva distribution rights for the tournament across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio.
For the first time, Canada will also be included in the territories available for MP & Silva to secure distribution rights. During the 2013 World Baseball Classic, games shown live in Canada nationally on Sportsnet produced a 97% increase in viewership from comparable national coverage in 2009.
MP & Silva held media distribution rights for the 2013 World Baseball Classic. More than 45 television and radio partners broadcast the 2013 tournament worldwide to more than 200 countries and territories in 15 languages. Games from the previous edition of the World Baseball Classic set numerous broadcasting records around the globe. The Championship was one of the most watched sporting events in the Dominican Republic in at least the last decade and was also the most watched sporting event in Puerto Rico within the previous year. In addition, a Japan vs. Netherlands game was the most viewed sporting event in the previous 12 months in Japan, out-rating all 2012 Olympics coverage. One-third of all televisions on in Japan were tuned into the World Baseball Classic for the three first-round games played by Team Japan in Fukuoka, Japan. In Taiwan, an extra-inning thriller between Japan and Chinese Taipei was the highest-rated cable program in the country’s history. The 2013 tournament also set records in attendance, licensing, sponsorship sales and social media activity as the event continued its mission of growing the sport of baseball around the world.
“MP & Silva was a valuable partner in the last edition of the tournament and we look forward to expanding our relationship with them for the 2017 World Baseball Classic,” said Chris Park, Senior Vice President, Growth, Strategy & International, Major League Baseball. “This event is integral to the continued growth and development of baseball internationally and MP & Silva’s experience in global media distribution will help deliver this exciting tournament to an even larger worldwide audience.”
“MP & Silva has a proven track record of success with the distribution rights for events around the world, and we’re thrilled to have them on board again with the World Baseball Classic for 2017,” said MLBPA Chief of Business Affairs, Timothy Slavin. “We’re confident the 2017 event will continue to grow the game, reach even more fans and showcase outstanding international baseball games and player performances, thanks to MP & Silva.”
Marco Auletta, CEO MP & Silva, said: “We are delighted to renew our partnership with WBCI for the worldwide distribution of the 2017 World Baseball Classic. MP & Silva has a great interest in acquiring prestigious baseball properties as a way to diversify our portfolio of sports media rights. Our distribution of the 2013 World Baseball Classic enjoyed unprecedented success for global distribution and viewership, and we aim to surpass those targets with the 2017 edition.”
The World Baseball Classic is the premier international baseball tournament, sanctioned by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), as the sport’s official National Team World Championship, and features the best players in the world competing for their home countries and territories. More than 2.4 million fans from all over the world have attended tournament games, held in March 2006, March 2009 and March 2013. Team Dominican Republic is the reigning World Baseball Classic Champion after going undefeated during its 2013 championship run. MLB Network will be the exclusive English-language home of the 2017 World Baseball Classic in the United States.
From February 11th-14th, a Qualifier was held in Sydney, Australia where Australia defeated South Africa to advance to the World Baseball Classic tournament scheduled for March 2017. 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 winners from each Qualifier will join teams from 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.