Could we have baseball live on ESPN in April? If a report from Kim Young-rok of Sports Chosun in South Korea is correct, we could have that as soon as next week.
Our Korean here at DK Nation is limited, but we ran some quotes through Google Translate and here’s what we can surmise.
In the aftermath of Corona 19, sports around the world became ‘all-stop’. However, only Taiwan and Korea are different. Taiwanese baseball (CPBL) has already officially opened on the 12th, and KBO is carefully discussing the opening of it in early May. This is why the eyes of the world hungry for sports are focused on Asia.
You got that right, Sports Chosun. We’re starving over here.
South Korea’s professional baseball game, Cheongbaekjeon, soothes the thirst of baseball fans waiting for the league to start. The broadcast, which was originally conducted through a YouTube channel, was proud of the quality of the regular season with the participation of sports broadcasters seeking content and active fan service by the club. Cheongbaekjeon is an object of envy for the ‘Big League’, which is not even able to conduct team training.
I can feel my thirst being soothed already. Preseason games for the KBO are scheduled to begin on the 21st of April, with a planned date for Opening Day sometime in May. There will be no fans in the stands, but so far the effective protocols the nation has put in place appear to allow games to happen.
The KBO actually had a pandemic playbook in place after the MERS crisis of 2015, and the much more regimented form of life in the country does make returning to normalcy a bit quicker. The difference in testing and monitoring programs of citizens between the USA and Korea are part of the reason why it’s possible to begin to think about baseball over there.
ESPN putting live professional sports programming on would be a welcome relief to so many sports fans across the world, and it’s also a win for the KBO who would receive levels of exposure they only normally get in bat flip videos on YouTube. Also it would likely be nice for sports bettors, because Korean baseball can be a lot more fun than anything you’d see in the US, and wagerers would be able to put down a few dollars on a game that meant something while watching it from their couch.
We’ll see if this plan comes together, but it’s something to keep an eye on as the search for sports continues.