Korea Baseball Organization Games to Air on ESPN Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 4, 2020

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - APRIL 21: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Chung Soo-bin of Doosan Bears bats during the preseason game between LG Twins and Doosan Bears at Jamsil Baseball Stadium on April 21, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea. The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) open a preseason games Tuesday, with its 10 clubs scheduled to play four games each through April 27. The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced Tuesday that the 2020 regular season, postponed from its March 28 start date due to the coronavirus outbreak, will begin May 5.  (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

ESPN announced a deal Monday to air Korea Baseball Organization games six days per week, starting with Opening Day on Tuesday:

Jared Diamond @jareddiamond

ESPN will air six KBO games per week. Here's the schedule for this week! https://t.co/QB0mb9srDZ

The broadcasts will feature experienced MLB commentators working remotely, including Karl Ravech, Jessica Mendoza and Eduardo Perez.

The MLB season has been delayed because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. The KBO deal will provide fans the chance to see live baseball on ESPN for the first time in 2020.

The KBO season was initially scheduled to begin March 28, two days after MLB's initial scheduled start.

South Korea had 252 deaths in the country from the coronavirus as of Monday, while the United States has had over 67,000, per CNN.com.

South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun announced in April sports could resume without fans.

The league will join Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League, which has also played games without fans during the coronavirus pandemic.

The ESPN games will feature the defending champion Doosan Bears as well as the popular Kia Tigers, who are coached by former Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams. Former MLB players Byung-Ho Park, Hyun-Soo Kim, Casey Kelly and Dan Straily are also among the familiar faces in the league for U.S. fans.