10/23/2012 4:42 PM ET
MLB Network to air all Classic games in '13, '17
By Bobbie Dittmeier / MLB.com
The third edition of the Classic, which features the world's best players from 16 countries and territories that qualify, will be played in seven venues in four nations and territories from March 2-19.
Japan is the two-time defending champion, having won each of the first two Classics in 2006 and 2009.
The semifinals and finals will take place March 17-19 at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Second-round games hosted by the Miami Marlins will be held from March 12-16 at Marlins Park, and at Tokyo Dome in Japan. First-round competition will be hosted by the Arizona Diamondbacks and held from March 7-10 at Chase Field in Phoenix and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Ariz.
In addition to televising all 39 games, MLB Network will extensively cover the World Baseball Classic in its studio programming, including MLB Tonight, Hot Stove, Intentional Talk and Clubhouse Confidential. MLB Network will premiere a World Baseball Classic promotional spot during the 2012 World Series.
MLB Network televised 16 games of the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
"We are excited about working with MLB Network to bring every game of the 2013 and 2017 World Baseball Classic tournaments to fans throughout the United States," said Paul Archey, MLB's senior vice president of international business operations. "MLB Network has done an exceptional job producing and covering baseball, including part of the 2009 tournament. In addition to the game broadcasts, MLB Network's studio programming will provide fans with unprecedented in-depth coverage of this global event."
MLB Network will also televise the final game of each qualifier pool. The qualifiers, which expanded the competitive field of the tournament from 16 to 28 countries, has already seen Spain and Canada advance to the main tournament. The final two qualifiers will begin on Nov. 15 in Panama City, Panama; and New Taipei City, Taiwan.
"MLB Network is a welcomed broadcast partner for the next two World Baseball Classics, as baseball fans and players alike are increasingly turning to MLB Network for their baseball news and live-game coverage," said Timothy Slavin, director of business affairs and licensing and senior counsel for the MLB Players Association. "We're confident that the amount of coverage provided by MLB Network prior to and during the World Baseball Classic will dramatically increase the interest in and exposure of the game's most significant international competition."
Additional information and the opportunity to register for an exclusive ticket sales window are available at the World Baseball Classic website.
Bobbie Dittmeier is a reporter and editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.