MLB draft to be shown on ESPN for first time since 2008
ESPN, the US sports broadcaster, will provide live coverage of this year’s Major League Baseball draft for the first time in 12 years.
The network aired the draft in 2007 and 2008 before it shifted to the MLB Network, the league’s dedicated channel, from 2009.
This year, it will be jointly broadcast by ESPN and MLB Network, marking the first time it will feature live on two channels.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the draft will take place remotely on 10 June out of the MLB Network studios in Secaucus, New Jersey.
The draft was scheduled to be held in Omaha, Nebraska.
ESPN’s coverage will span across its main channel and ESPN2.
The broadcaster, along with Turner, holds domestic broadcast rights until the end of the 2021 season, while Fox has a deal through to 2028.
Meanwhile, the MLB Players Association has delivered a proposal to the league for this season which includes 114 games, deferred salaries in the event of a cancelled playoffs, and an option for all players to opt out of the entire campaign due to concerns around the coronavirus, it has been reported.
The proposal by the union comes quickly after the players rejected a recent plan by the league to begin the season.
Although the players expect MLB to dismiss their counterproposal, there is a hope an agreement can be struck this week, according to ESPN.
The MLBPA’s 114-game plan would involve the season running from 30 June to 31 October, while the league is seeking to play 82 games.
The MLB regular season usually features 162 games.
The league believes the more games played this year, the more money will be lost by teams because no fans can attend.
A major stumbling block between the two parties concerns salaries and how it will be distributed this season. The players believe they should receive their salaries in full while the league’s proposal included significant pay cuts.
The players are understood to be keen to get the 2020 season up and running if possible but plans to begin on 1 July and become the first major US sports league to get underway following the pandemic will need to finalised soon if this is to be fulfilled.
The MLB season had been scheduled to start on 26 March.