Press Release World Baseball Softball Confederation
LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today announced that the host broadcasting rights, as well as the exclusive television rights in Japan, for the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup® 2016 in Iwaki, Japan, have been awarded to J SPORTS Corporation, the Tokyo-based cable and satellite television network. WBSC also awarded the exclusive broadcast rights covering the Asian continent to six leading national networks.
As part of the agreement, J SPORTS — one of Japan’s leading content producers/channels dedicated to sport — will serve as the host broadcaster of the III U-15 Baseball World Cup, producing 27 of the 39 world championship games, which will open on Friday, 29 July. J SPORTS will also hold the exclusive television rights in Japan, the host nation of the 2020 Olympic Games, for the U-15 Baseball World Cup 2016, bringing live, daily action across three of its four channels to its network of 6.5 million subscribers.
The agreement will also see the J SPORTS production team deliver the post-game highlights package (immediately following each of the 27 produced games) for the U-15 Baseball World Cup 2016, for worldwide distribution across WBSC’s social media platforms.
The new agreement extends the WBSC-J SPORTS partnership from 2015, which included last year’s WBSC PREMIER12® flagship event and the U-18 Baseball World Cup, which generated top TV ratings in Japan last year.
“WBSC is thrilled that J SPORTS — one of Japan’s premier sports networks — has added this exciting youth U-15 Baseball World Cup property to its portfolio,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “And with expertise of J SPORTS as the host broadcaster, fans and audiences worldwide will be offered live ‘major event’ coverage for the U-15 Baseball World Cup for the first time ever, as they follow their favourite National Teams and the next generation of stars competing for the world title in Iwaki.”
WBSC AWARDS BROADCAST RIGHTS IN ASIA
In addition to Japan, the WBSC also awarded exclusive broadcast rights for the U-15 Baseball World Cup 2016 in Asia, across Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, South Korea and Taiwan.
In South Korea, SBS – one of the nation’s largest television networks, with a reach of 18.7 million – has been awarded the exclusive broadcast rights for the U-15 Baseball World Cup 2016 across all media platforms, including mobile, online and television.
Taiwan’s biggest sports channel, Videoland, has been awarded the exclusive rights in the nation to broadcast the U-15 Baseball World Cup 2016 across television and online platforms, which will make the flagship U-15 sports event available to over 23 million viewers.
Indonesia’s biggest satellite TV service provider, Indovision TV, has acquired the exclusive rights in the nation to showcase the international youth event.
ASTRO, a leading content and consumer group in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, has been awarded the exclusive broadcast rights in Malaysia to feature the U-15 Baseball World Cup 2016 to its 4.9 million subscribers.
In Myanmar, Skynet has acquired the exclusive rights to broadcast the U-15 international baseball showcase.
The WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup is baseball’s official U-15 national team world championship and is the highest level of competition for 13- to 15-year-old baseball players.
YOUTH AND OLYMPIC APPEAL
Said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari: “These latest agreements further underline the sport of baseball’s place atop Japan’s sporting landscape and highlight the strong demand of the Japanese public for more international baseball content, while also helping position baseball and softball among the top youth sport properties in the world. And this is another valuable piece that can help our sport earn a place on the biggest stage in world sport, the Olympic Games, and help connect the Olympic Movement to millions of young athletes and new audiences.”
Baseball/softball is among five new sports being proposed, under the innovative Olympic Agenda 2020 roadmap, for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 edition.
When putting forward the new sports to be considered for the programme in 2020, Tokyo 2020 organisers said last September:
“This package of events represents both traditional and emerging, youth-focused events, all of which are popular both in Japan and internationally. They will serve as a driving force to further promote the Olympic Movement and its values, with a focus on youth appeal, and will add value to the Games by engaging the Japanese population and new audiences worldwide, reflecting the Tokyo 2020 Games vision.”
Last month, the International Olympic Committee Executive Board voted unanimously to recommend baseball/softball’s inclusion among the new sports package proposed by/for the Tokyo 2020 Games. The IOC will take a final vote on in Rio de Janeiro in early August.