Lions at Guardians in Xinzhuang
The Fubon Guardians first home game of the year in Xinzhuang

It is understood that all four of Taiwan’s professional baseball teams will soon have English language commentary teams in place to help bring the (Chinese Professional Baseball League) CPBL to an even wider audience.

At time of typing, because of the COVID-19 pandemic the CPBL* is the only professional baseball league anywhere in the world playing the sport; South Korea’s Korea Baseball Organisation  are, however planning to start games behind closed doors in the next week or so.

All games are currently being played behind closed doors with access limited to league and team officials, and the media.

This policy was put in place as a result of social distancing regulations announced by the national government and is also applied to other sports.

Live English Broadcasts

As a result of huge international demand for the sport in the wake of the announcement that the league would start games, the Rakuten Monkeys started English language broadcasts on April 15th by way of game broadcasts on the Eleven Sports TV channel.

These first broadcasts featured Richard Wang, the World Baseball Softball Confederation’s (WBSC) Asia correspondent alongside a long time resident of Taiwan, Wayne McNeil, and were initially set to run for just five games.

So popular were the broadcasts though, and with reports of several million viewers tuning in from Eleven Sports, the Wang – McNeil pairing could now be looking at hosting all Monkeys home games this season.

Taoyuan Mayor Funds Team

This possibility was given a huge boost by an announcement earlier in the week by the mayor of Taoyuan, to the south west of Greater Taipei, who said the city would fund the broadcasts in what is presumably seen as a bid to keep the team in-situ in the coming years when a new ‘Taipei Dome’ may tempt them away.

The Monkeys are at present based well outside the city of Taoyuan in a remote ballpark prone to flooding.

Wang and McNeil are also set to appear on air at Fubon Guardians games starting his evening when the ‘Guardians of the North’ start a three game series against the visiting CTBC Brothers – rain across the region at time of typing notwithstanding.

The Brothers too will start English language broadcasts when they return to their home base at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium in early May.

An announcement of just who will feature behind the microphone is expected very shortly.

It is understood the online social media platform Twitter has also been approaching teams to stream live games using their own platform, albeit with mixed success – the Brothers are already streaming on Twitch, and with the Uni-Lions first home game of the season this evening, the team are still seemingly without an official Twitter presence for now.

Accounts to follow / news just in

Professional club accounts fans can, and may want to follow on Twitter are currently limited to those run by the Fubon Guardians and the CTBC Brothers.

BallTaiwan is an unaffiliated account based in Taiwan and active during most games. It is run by The Taiwan Times editor.

  • The CPBL name has come under criticism from some quarters in Taiwan in the past week as possibly being misconstrued as being based in China, although to date no known moves are in place to make any changes.


In breaking news – one former MLB superstar is now looking to come over to Taiwan in a bid to breathe new fire into his career – more as we get it.. 

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