Here’s something that caught our attention via a press release:
ESPN will present a Spanish-language simulcast of the Dominican Republic vs. Puerto Rico World Baseball Classic game, Sunday, March 10, at 7:30 p.m. ET. The game will be highlighted by several of baseball’s biggest stars, including Robinson Cano, Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Nelson Cruz and Carlos Beltran. Ernesto Jerez and Luis Alfredo Alvarez will provide commentary for the game. Additionally, ESPN2 will simulcast a WBC game (TBD) on Tuesday, March 12, at 1 p.m. Both games will also be available on ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio and via WatchESPN.
In addition, the network also said this:
ESPN will televise a special edition of Baseball Tonight, Sunday, March 10, at 7 p.m., leading into the Spanish-language simulcast of the Dominican Republic vs. Puerto Rico WBC game. Adnan Virk will host the show with new ESPN Baseball Tonight analyst Alex Cora, who will be making his debut. Cora played for the Puerto Rico WBC teams in 2006 and 2009. The show will include special Spanish-language elements and segments, including Bernardo Osuna reporting on-site.
Before the baseball coverage, the network will air The Clemente Effect, :a documentary that chronicles the life and accomplishments of Roberto Clemente.” ESPN will air this at 4:30 p.m. EST.
We can only imagine what their Twitter feed will be on Sunday when the haters start telling them that “in the U.S., we speak English.” Haters gonna hate. But ESPN is not having it. Here is what ESPN’s Norby Williamson, Executive Vice President of Programming & Acquisitions, had to say:
“The World Baseball Classic provides a great showcase of how ESPN’s resources can document a global event with strong multi-cultural appeal,” Williamson said. “Having the exclusive Spanish-language rights to all 39 WBC games on Deportes and Deportes+ for both the 2013 and 2017 events provides us with unique opportunities to serve fans across our television, audio and digital properties. The upcoming simulcasts are the latest examples.”
But, ESPN is smart. March baseball is a not a big ratings attraction, and this simulcast will DEFINITELY get attention. ¡Bravo!