ESPN and Major League Baseball (MLB) have expanded their partnership with a new rights agreement that will see live MLB action on ESPN’s TV and OTT platforms across multiple markets in Europe and Africa.
The deal keeps live MLB on Fox Sports in the Netherlands and ESPN’s TV channels in Africa for another two seasons, ensuring fans can follow all the key action as MLB’s 30 clubs compete for supremacy.
The extended partnership includes OTT rights across much of Europe and all of sub-Saharan Africa, bringing live MLB to subscription streaming service ESPN Player in 96 countries across the two continents.
The agreement will give fans access to all the key action from the regular season through to the postseason and the World Series (rights vary in some markets).
ESPN will cover MLB special events, such as the London Series, which this year sees St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs go head to head in the British capital, as well as the showpiece All-Star game and Home Run Derby.
In addition, ESPN Player will carry the 24-hour MLB Network, joining four existing live channels already available on the service; ESPNU, The SEC Network, The ACC Network and The Longhorn Network. ESPN Player subscribers will also be able to watch ESPN’s highlights and debate show Baseball Tonight.
ESPN and MLB already collaborate in Europe to bring MLB action to fans in the UK and Ireland on BT Sport, including producing weekly show Caps Off created specifically for British baseball fans.
Commenting on the news, Frank Rutten, ESPN Europe & Africa, said: “ESPN and MLB have a long and proud history of working together across the globe, and we’re delighted to build the relationship further in Europe and Africa. MLB is at the pinnacle of American sports, and we’re looking forward to bringing millions of fans every home run, shutout and grand slam of what is set to be a thrilling 2020 season.”
The new MLB season is set to start on March 26th and ESPN’s coverage includes reigning American League MVP Mike Trout and the LA Angels taking on the defending American League champion Houston Astros.