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MLB Seeks International Growth By Connecting India to the Sport

  • MLB is looking to grow its brand in India amid the arrival of Arjun Nimmala, a top Indian-American prospect.
  • The world’s most-populated country is “an exciting growth market” for MLB.
MLB's new content will come as Indian-American top prospect Arjun Nimmala gets drafted into MLB.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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MLB is planning a new Indian content series to “grow baseball and the MLB brand in India,” according to new job postings on the league’s website. 

The league’s careers page has four open temporary freelance roles for the remainder of 2023 and potentially into 2024. MLB is looking to “design a content series concept that connects the Indian population with baseball,” and design a monthslong editorial calendar for MLB in India “built around key ‘moments’ that will include live telecasts and longer-form content series.”

MLB’s content in India will be distributed across linear television and multiple social/digital platforms, including YouTube. The league identifies India as an “exciting growth market,” and its ideal candidates will have “experience in longer-form content production planning and creative (i.e., TV show), and deep familiarity with the Indian market.”

The UN estimated that India has a population of 1.425 billion, recently surpassing China as the world’s most-populated country. Broadcasting rights for the Indian Premier League of cricket, a sport similar to baseball, sold for $6.2 billion last summer for distribution led by the Disney-owned Star India and Viacom18, a subsidiary co-owned by Paramount. 

MLB’s dive into India also comes as the league’s website is touting Arjun Nimmala, an Indian-American shortstop prospect expected to be picked in the first round of the MLB Draft on Sunday. 

Nimmala has the potential to “become a face-of-the-sport star that defines a franchise that opens up India to Major League Baseball,” said ESPN’s draft analyst Kiley McDaniel. 

A professional baseball team is coming to Mumbai, India’s largest city, through a new league called Baseball United that’s backed by MLB Hall of Famers Barry Larkin and Mariano Rivera. The league expects to begin play in November, and Larkin was named honorary GM of the Mumbai club. 

MLB’s international tour included regular season games played this season in London, with future games planned for Mexico, Paris, Japan, and Puerto Rico. The league has also considered hosting games in Germany and The Netherlands.

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