MLB season opener to broadcast live in China
Potential audience of 300 mil to see Yankees play Red SoxBEIJING -- Major League Baseball's season opener will be televised live in China for the first time on Sunday, reaching a potential 300 million viewers via five outlets, the American sports league said Friday, according to its Web site.
The televised game between the World Series champion New York Yankees and their arch rival Boston Red Sox will air at 8 p.m. in Boston on Sunday, which is 8 a.m. in China on Monday -- which happens to be a national holiday when millions of Chinese traditionally go out to the cemetery to sweep their ancestors' graves, but where many now take the day off, as most urban residents are cremated.
In basketball-mad China, where the NBA has built a successful presence on TV and on the Web, the nascent national baseball league draws thin attendance, despite the sport and the league's success in other Asian countries, including Japan and Korea. Baseball will also compete this summer with the soccer World Cup, which begins June 11.
To up the ante, MLB is adding to the All-Star Game, postseason games and "This Week in Baseball" to the season's broadcast line-up on Jiangsu TV and Shenzhen TV, which previously broadcast the 2009 World Series, Guangdong TV in southern China, and two new partners, Chongqing TV and Shaanxi TV.