LOS ANGELES (April 2, 2014) — SportsNet LA is the exclusive new 24/7 TV network of the Los Angeles Dodgers that takes fans behind-the-scenes of the team and offers in-depth access into the organization, providing an immersive experience with never-before-seen content and thousands of hours of comprehensive Dodger programming.
The network announced Wednesday that it will launch Korean-language Secondary Audio Programming (SAP) for all live Dodger games on its air this season, a first for any Major League Baseball (MLB) team. The Dodgers have partnered with Radio Korea, the team’s Korean radio broadcast partner, to provide the service, which will start with the Dodgers’ home opener on Friday, April 4. Radio Korea broadcasters Richard Choi and Chong Ho Yim will call the games.
“We’re so thrilled that fans can now watch our games on TV in Korean all season long,” said Stan Kasten, President and CEO, Los Angeles Dodgers. “The Dodgers have an incredibly diverse fan base, and over the past two seasons we’ve seen more and more of Los Angeles’ Korean fans come out to support Hyun-Jin Ryu. Making games available in English, Korean and Spanish on SportsNet LA lets us reach even more Dodger fans than ever before.”
“I’m happy that Korean Dodger fans will now be able to watch our games on SportsNet LA,” said Dodger Pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu.
“We are excited to be working with SportsNet LA to deliver Korean SAP for live Dodger games,” said Richard Choi, Vice Chairman of RK Media. “Korean Americans are huge fans of the Dodgers and every game Hyun-Jin Ryu pitches is a major event in our community. This is going to be a great year to be a Dodger fan.”
The Dodgers have a long history with the development of Korean baseball dating to 1981, when Tommy Lasorda hosted clinics and lectures in Korea with Japanese pitcher Senichi Hoshino. The relationship continued in 1990, when the club hosted team presidents from the Korean Baseball Professional League for a baseball workshop and seminar and the club became the first Major League team to have a game broadcast in the Korean language on Sept. 9 of that year.
On several occasions the Dodgers have hosted Korean baseball teams during Spring Training at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Fla., doing so with the Hanyang University team in 1995 and in 2000 with the LG Twins of the KBO following the clubs’ working agreement, signed in 1999. Most recently, Korean fans flocked to a sold out Dodger Stadium and created an electric atmosphere in support of their team during the finals of the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Ryu joined the Dodgers in 2012 and became the 14th South Korea native to play in the Majors and the fourth to play for the Dodgers, behind Hee-Seop Choi, Jae Seo and Chan Ho Park, who was the first Korean to play in the Majors when he made his debut in 1994. Ryu finished his first year in the Majors with a 14-8 regular-season record and a 3.00 ERA in 30 starts, following seven All-Star seasons with Hanwha in the Korea Baseball Organization. He was selected to last season’s Baseball America All-Rookie team and ranked among the top big league rookies in wins (14, T-2nd), winning percentage (.636, T-3rd), ERA (3.00, 2nd), strikeouts (154, 4th), innings pitched (192.0, 1st) and starts (30, T-3rd). Ryu’s 14 wins tied with Kazuhisa Ishii (14-10, 2002) for the second-most by a Los Angeles rookie behind only Rick Sutcliffe’s 17 wins in 1979.
The Dodgers currently have seven partners that are Korean owned and annually celebrate Korea Day at Dodger Stadium.