By Gary Anderson

January 27 - Media rights firm MP & Silva has signed a long term partnership with the Chinese Professional Baseball League ©MP & SilvaInternational media rights firm MP & Silva has signed a six-year deal to become the domestic and global media rights holder for the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL).

The new deal runs from 2014 to 2019 and sees the firm also appointed as exclusive media advisor to the CPBL for all media rights sales to all broadcast and media platforms, as well as the production of all games.

The agreement covers worldwide territories, including Chinese Taipei, and includes all regular season games, the All-Star Series, Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) Series coverage as well as the Winter League.

"We are delighted to partner with MP & Silva to showcase the CPBL globally in such a comprehensive manner for the first time, with their significant presence and strength of their network," said CPBL Commissioner Hwang Jenn-Tai.

"They are the ideal partner to heighten the popularity in our league, and we are confident that this will open the door to more commercial opportunities for the league and our clubs."

The Chinese Taipei-based CPBL has been running since 1989 and is the top professional league in the country.

It features four teams; CTBC Brothers, Lamigo Monkeys, EDA Rhinos and the league's most successful club, Uni-President 7 Eleven Lions, who have won nine championship titles.

Last season, the CPBL saw average match attendances increase to just over 6,000, which represented an increase of nearly 150 per cent on the previous year, according to the CPBL.

Commenting on the new deal, World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) co-President Riccardo Fraccari said: "This is another momentous occasion for international baseball.

"This new partnership between MP & Silva and the Chinese Professional Baseball League further reinforces baseball's established position as a globally attractive and viable product with still great potential for short- and long-term growth.

"With MP & Silva's global network and their proven track record handling baseball assets, the increased access to and delivery of CPBL content will add to baseball's visibility and popularity nationally, while adding to baseball's exposure and stronghold in key Asian territories and beyond."

Former Boston Red Sox star Manny Ramirez turned out for CPBL side EDA Rhinos last season ©AFP/Getty ImagesFormer Boston Red Sox star Manny Ramirez turned out for CPBL side EDA Rhinos last season ©AFP/Getty Images

MP & Silva has been involved in baseball for a number of years and has been the exclusive media partner of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) since 2011.

The IBAF merged with the International Softball Federation (ISF) in late 2012 to form the WBSC in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to secure inclusion on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games programme.

The media firm works with the WBSC across its major international competitions including the World Baseball Classic.

In November, MP & Silva released a report claiming the WBSC Under-18 Baseball World Cup was beamed to more than 144 million homes worldwide while there were 22 million online and mobile connections to the event, which took place in Taichung last August and September.

"We are very pleased with this new partnership as we strongly believe that the league has great potential for further growth," said Peter Hutton, chief executive of MP & Silva.

"We look forward to building on our international baseball portfolio with this comprehensive global and domestic deal.

"This wide-ranging partnership is based on our ability to improve the profile of sports properties and increase its value through our distribution and production expertise."

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