MLB Network was
announced Tuesday as the exclusive English-language telecast partner for the
World Baseball Classic. The league-owned network's rights are for the next two tournaments
in 2013 and 2017.
The 2013 version will take place from March 2-19, 2013, and
will feature an expanded 28-team field. The WBC was created in 2005 in response
to the International Olympic Committee's decision to remove baseball from the
list of Summer Olympic events. It is sanctioned by International Baseball
Federation and is organized partly by the MLB and MLBPA. The first tournament
was held in 2006.
MLB Network will premiere a World Baseball Classic
promotional spot during its World Series coverage, which begin Wednesday.
"The World Baseball Classic is the premier
international baseball competition and acquiring the exclusive rights to the
2013 and 2017 tournaments continues MLB Network's goal of acquiring premium
exclusive content to help grow the network and serve baseball fans," said
MLB Network president and CEO Tony Petitti.