ESPN Deportes Acquires Exclusive Spanish-language Rights for Serie del Caribe Through 2011
ESPN and Cultiva Entertainment have reached a multi-year agreement that makes ESPN Deportes the exclusive Spanish-language home in the U.S. to the Serie del Caribe tournament (Carib Series) through 2011. With this agreement, ESPN Deportes solidifies its position as “La Casa del Béibsol Invernal” (The Home of Winter Baseball), showcasing exclusive coverage of all the active leagues in the confederation – Dominican Republic, Mexico and Venezuela.
“This deal underscores ESPN Deportes’ commitment to baseball fans in the U.S.” said Eric Conrad, director of programming and acquisitions, ESPN Deportes. “Serie del Caribe is the pinnacle of winter baseball and we’re delighted to be able to offer comprehensive coverage of teams as they face off to represent their countries in this magnificent event.”
“The Serie del Caribe tournament has long had tradition and affinity with Hispanic audiences in the U.S., said Sara Loarte, Cultiva Entertainment. We are very pleased to be able to offer the live programming to Latin Baseball fans nationwide.”
Under the terms of the agreement, ESPN Deportes will offer exclusive Spanish-language coverage of the six-day tournament beginning with the 2009 opening game in Mexicali, Mexico. The 2009 Serie del Caribe will begin February 2nd and run through February 6th. Additionally, ESPN Deportes will also carry official highlights show for the tournament, providing a complete re-cap of each game. The network will also air a preview show each day and provide extensive coverage of Serie del Caribe across news and information shows led by SportsCenter.
Since 1949, the Caribbean Series, a 12-game round robin tournament between the best team of Mexico, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, has crowned a champion nation. The tournament has served as a platform to showcase the best competition of Winter League Baseball and is sanctioned by Major League Baseball. Major League Players who have participated in Winter League baseball include legends such as Roberto Clemente, Fernando Valenzuela, David Concepcion and Juan Marichal. Current players who have developed their skills in Winter League ball include Johan Santana, Carlos Beltran, Robinson Cano, and Miguel Cabrera, among others.
Championships Series to date:
Dominican Republic (1970 to date) – 16 Championships
Puerto Rico (1949 to date) – 14 Championships
Cuba (1949 – 1960) – 7 Championships
Venezuela (1949 to date) – 6 Championships
Mexico (1971 to date) – 5 Championships
Panama (1949 to 1960) – 1 Championship
The 2008-2009 winter baseball season will kickoff with an exclusive presentation of Rumbo a las Grandes Ligas, a documentary that chronicles the voyage of three Dominican-born aspiring Major Leaguers and their road of breaking into the Majors. The show follows the aspiring major leaguers through tryouts, batting practices, and their day-to-day lives at some of MLB’s most notable baseball academies in the Dominican Republic. The documentary tells two stories – that of an athlete pursuing a career in the majors and that of a man out of the playing field. Using testimony from teammates, trainers, coaches, teachers, friends and family members of the main characters, Rumbo a las Grandes Ligas, brings to light what inspires these young players which most hail from poverty-stricken areas in the Dominican Republic. Boston Red Sox David Ortiz plays a feature role in the film, lending his perspective on a Dominican who made it big in the Major leagues.
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