ESPN reached a deal with the KBO League in South Korea to televise six games per week in the United States, the network announced on Monday.
Opening day is Tuesday in South Korea with five games on the schedule, and ESPN will televise the NC Dinos vs. Samsung Lions. Because it’s a day game in South Korea, it starts at 10 p.m. PT. The night games will end up being shown overnight in the U.S.
ESPN says they will televise one game Tuesday through Sunday, Eastern time, each week, and most of the games will be on ESPN2 and the ESPN app, with announcers calling the game in English from their home studios. The opening day game will be on ESPN, with Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez on the call.
“The KBO League is one of the greatest baseball leagues with world-class players and many exciting initiatives,” KBO commissioner Un-Chan Chung said in a statement. “I am pleased that the KBO League can be introduced globally and hope this can be an opportunity for the development of our league and the sport.”
Here’s a thread of information about all 10 teams in the KBO, if you’re looking for a team to root for:
Getting to know the KBO teams:— Dan Kurtz (@MyKBO) April 30, 2020
Seoul Heroes aka Kiwoom Heroes: Only KBO team not owned by a large company; team established in 2008, no championships to date,
Home stadium is the Gocheok SkyDome
Notable players: Park Byung-ho/Kim Ha-seong
Team site: https://t.co/qUaTZcXLlM pic.twitter.com/rCvCA9OlKb
The live games generally will be televised in the U.S. at 2:30 a.m. PT Tuesday through Friday, 1 a.m. Saturday, and 10 p.m. Saturday night (the latter day games on Sunday in South Korea).
Here is the schedule for the first week of games.
ESPN KBO first week schedule
|Mon, May 4||10 p.m.||NC Dinos vs. Samsung Lions||ESPN||Karl Ravech & Eduardo Perez|
|Wed, May 6||2:30 a.m.||Doosan Bears vs. LG Twins||ESPN2||Karl Ravech & Eduardo Perez|
|Thu, May 7||2:30 a.m.||NC Dinos vs. Samsung Lions||ESPN2||Karl Ravech & Eduardo Perez|
|Fri, May 8||2:30 a.m.||KIA Tigers vs. Samsung Lions||ESPN2||Jon Sciambi & Kyle Peterson|
|Sat, May 9||1 a.m.||LG Twins vs. NC Dinos||ESPN2||Jon Sciambi & Jessica Mendoza|
|Sat, May 9||10 p.m.||LG Twins vs. NC Dinos||ESPN2||Jon Sciambi & Jessica Mendoza|
The games will generally be replayed on ESPN2 during the day as well. The Monday night game, for instance, will be replayed Tuesday at 9 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. PT.
- Old friend Josh Lindblom, the reigning KBO MVP who signed with the Brewers during the offseason, told Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports, “People just have to realize it’s different. It’s not going to be Major League Baseball. And you just have to drop the comparisons and enjoy the game.”
- Ben Clemens at FanGraphs tried to get to know the KBO, in two parts.
- Jay Jaffe at FanGraphs interviewed Dan Kurtz, who runs the wonderful myKBO.net.
- Hank Conger on adjusting to the KBO and how South Korea dealt with the coronavirus, from Mike Digiovanna of the LA Times.