MP & Silva strikes rights renewal for World Baseball Classic

The MP & Silva agency has extended its global media rights distribution contract for the World Baseball Classic, with its deal for the 2017 edition of the national team competition including the Canadian market for the first time.

The worldwide agreement – excluding Japan, Puerto Rico and the United States – grants MP & Silva distribution rights for the tournament, and its qualifying events, across television, internet, mobile and radio platforms.

MP & Silva held media distribution rights for the 2013 World Baseball Classic, where more than 45 television and radio partners broadcast the tournament worldwide to over 200 countries and territories in 15 languages.

Marco Auletta, chief executive of MP & Silva, said: “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 in the 2017 edition.

“National team baseball competitions continue to gain in prestige and attractiveness to broadcasters, commercial partners and spectators. We foresee an accelerating trend of positive audience growth and commercialisation of international baseball content in traditional markets across the Americas and Asia, as well as new and emerging markets, such as Europe and the Middle East.”

The Dominican Republic is the reigning World Baseball Classic champion after going undefeated during its 2013 championship run.

From February 11-14, 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 17-20; Rod Carew Stadium in Panama City, Panama on March 17-20; and MCU Park in Brooklyn, New York on September 22-25.

The winners from each qualifier will join the 12 countries – Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela – that received automatic invitations based on their performance in the 2013 tournament.