LAUSANNE, Switzerland (27 November 2014) – The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) and MP & Silva announced today an agreement that sees the leading international media rights company acquire the exclusive global media and sponsorship rights for the first two editions of “The Premier 12” – the new flagship pro baseball world championship that will feature the National Teams from the world’s twelve most powerful baseball nations and become baseball’s highest-ranked international competition.
Under the new partnership, MP & Silva secures the exclusive worldwide rights to distribute the 2015 and 2019 editions of The Premier 12 across all media platforms, with the first-ever Premier 12 programmed for November 2015 and set to award US$ multi-millions in prize money.
The agreement expands beyond content acquisition and also sees MP & Silva secure the exclusive global sponsorship rights for the first two Premier 12 international baseball showcases.
WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari hailed the landmark deal with MP & Silva as a strong indicator of the growing prominence of baseball’s National Team events on the world’s sporting landscape.
“This is a great day for The Premier 12 and the WBSC to partner with MP & Silva on delivering this new flagship international tournament to the millions of fans worldwide who want to follow and support their favourite National Teams on a global stage,” said Fraccari. “Partnering with MP & Silva represents a major coup for The Premier 12 and immediately raises the profile and marketability of The Premier 12 brand ahead of its rolling out next year.”
Said Marco Auletta, MP & Silva’s CEO: “We are extremely delighted to add The Premier 12 to MP & Silva’s portfolio and enter into this new partnership with WBSC. Our distribution of the World Baseball Classic 2013 enjoyed unprecedented success for global distribution and viewership, and we aim to surpass those targets with this exciting new property. WBSC sanctioned international baseball competitions, such as the inaugural Premier 12, are sports properties that continue to gain in prestige and attractiveness to broadcasters, commercial partners and spectators. We foresee an accelerating trend of positive audience growth and commercialisation of international baseball content in traditional markets across the Americas and Asia, as well as new and emerging markets, such as Europe and the Middle East.”
Baseball’s Top 12 nations that will compete in the inaugural Premier 12 will be led by No. 1 Japan, No. 2 USA, No. 3 Cuba, No. 4 Chinese Taipei, No. 5 Netherlands, No. 6 Dominican Republic, No. 7 Canada, No. 8 South Korea, No. 9 Puerto Rico, No. 10 Venezuela, No. 11 Italy and No. 12. Mexico.