As the start of the baseball season draws nearer, ELTA TV, available on Chunghwa Telecom’s MOD system, announced a collaboration with MP & Silva to carry 150 Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) games this year.
A company spokesperson on Monday said that the 150 games would be covered live and include the Taiwan Series, the best-of-seven championship at the end of the season.
ELTA is paying NT$20 million (US$660,000) for the 150-game deal, NT$5 million to each of the four CPBL teams — the Uni-President Lions, Chinatrust-Brother Elephants, Lamigo Monkeys and EDA Rhinos.
“Along with the CPBL games, we will also broadcast US Major League Baseball [MLB]. We are providing expanded service for the Taiwanese audience, with two to four MLB games each week, plus live coverage of the CPBL, with the broadcast in Mandarin,” ELTA TV managing director Chen Yi-chun said.
According to the company’s Web site, ELTA provides sports programming in high definition, which is also available to subscribers watching on their smartphones, tablets and PCs.
The CPBL signed a broadcasting agreement with MP & Silva, an international sports media company, in January, a six-year deal worth NT$2.142 billion.
Besides ELTA, MP & Silva has also been in negotiations with FTV, Videoland Sports and other local networks to carry the remainder of this season’s CPBL games.
Earlier this week, MP & Silva announced the company is expanding its presence in the Asia-Pacific region with the opening of a Taiwan office in Taipei. It also appointed a country director and executive producer.
“The availability of expanded CPBL media rights in Taiwan will introduce a new competitive edge to the sports media industry and we believe fans will ultimately benefit from this as the real winners. With an optimistic outlook about the CPBL, we look forward to reaching new heights in partnership with the league,” MP & Silva managing director Beatrice Lee said in a statement.
However, fans have criticized the slow progress made by MP & Silva and the CPBL on the coverage by other networks and are getting anxious, with pre-season exhibition games starting this weekend.
MP & Silva officials yesterday met with CPBL commissioner Hwang Jenn-tai to discuss the progress of the negotiations and said an announcement on further broadcast packages would be made later this week.