How to Watch Korean Baseball Live Online

With MLB games still off and many live sports leagues a no-go during the pandemic, American fans are turning to South Korea for their baseball fix. The Korean Baseball Organization started its 2020 season Monday and ESPN has scored a deal to broadcast six KBO games a week throughout the regular season. It’s a perfect fit, as the KBO has produced plenty of MLB talent (like 2019 All-Star Hyun-jin Ryu) and is a lot more fun to watch than the sometimes-plodding Major League Baseball.

Even if you don’t know the teams or players, there’s still something to enjoy about the KBO’s games, which start at 2 p.m. local time, or 1 a.m. ET on the weekend, and run for about two hours. The SK Wyverns and Samsung Dinos, in particular, have small groups of cheerleaders dancing around empty stadiums, a reminder that baseball is not just a sport to them, but an event.

It’s easy to catch a KBO game on your computer, but the time difference between Seoul and the West Coast can make it tough to wake up at an early hour for the first pitch. Fortunately, you can use a VPN to get around that obstacle and watch the games from the comfort of your own home. The best way to do that is by using Naver TV, a free streaming service available on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and Amazon Fire TV.

The Naver service also offers a subscription tier that gives you access to more channels than the free version. If you choose to go that route, you’ll get ESPN and ESPN2, as well as the ability to record games and view them later on your own schedule.

For those without a cable or satellite subscription, there’s another option: Hulu. The live TV tier of the streaming service costs $55 per month and includes ESPN and ESPN2. It also comes with a cloud DVR, which is useful for watching KBO games at more reasonable times.

There are a few other ways to stream the games, including through MLB Extra Innings and a few portal sites that carry the rights to some of the league’s games. But those services don’t have the benefit of having the live commentary from ESPN.

Despite the fact that all of the stadiums in the KBO are playing host to empty seats because of restrictions from the coronavirus, the league has managed to attract tens of thousands of fans on social media by streaming some of its intrasquad games online. The Doosan Bears, for example, teamed up with the local new media company Spocado to broadcast one of their intrasquad games last week on YouTube and other portal sites. The game attracted a reported 100,000 viewers on those sites, which was more than the team expected. It was an encouraging sign that the KBO might soon be able to return to its pre-pandemic status as a major sports attraction for fans in the United States. 한국야구실시간

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