For fans tuned into ESPN early this morning, something may have caught their eye – live professional baseball. That came courtesy of the KBO League, the highest level of professional baseball in South Korea. The network struck a deal with the league to broadcast six games a week, as well as the entire 144-game season and its postseason.
The KBO was started in 1982 and consists of 10 teams from across South Korea, all owned by some of the country’s biggest corporations like Kia, LG and Samsung. The league is known for its high scoring and passionate fans, who will also be watching from home to start the season.
The start of the KBO season also provides some insight into how pro sports might return in the U.S. Several of the techniques the league has applied will likely be adopted by others, such as strict social distancing guidelines with no fans, temperature checks and hand sanitizer for players. The league also banned the game’s time-honored tradition of spitting.