Major League Baseball announced an expanded partnership that makes China’s Le Sports its official strategic partner in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.
Under the three-year deal, which begins this month, 125 MLB games per season will be streamed live in China.
The deal was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Wednesday.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said that one of his priorities was the internationalization of baseball. “We believe the key to continued internationalization is localization,” he said. “We need to work with local partners to make it relevant.”
The 125-game lineup includes: four HD games per week during the regular season (96 games in total), 20 HD Postseason games, the All-Star Game, Home Run Derby, and all World Series games. In addition to live streaming games, Le Sports will have rights to broadcast games on video on demand.
Le Sports will also air Mandarin-language MLB programming, through its Internet platform, mobile applications, and OTT devices.
Besides broadcasting games, Le Sports will establish an online community for 30 MLB clubs and become a central portal for Chinese baseball fans to connect more deeply with their favorite teams, from supporting MLB live events to merchandise purchases. Le Sports will continue as a co-producer of MLB Perfect Pitch, a baseball reality show. Le Sports also will broadcast MLB Beijing University Baseball League and MLB Shanghai University Baseball League opening and final games as well as MLB Play Ball! Youth Program games.
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