Press Release World Baseball Softball Confederation
LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today announced that Seoul-based SBS has been awarded broadcast rights in South Korea for the 2015 WBSC Premier12™, the newest international baseball flagship tournament that is being launched in Japan and Taiwan this November by the world governing body.
SBS — one of South Korea’s top television networks positioned to reach out to the nation’s population of approximately 51 million — was selected by WBSC and awarded the exclusive broadcasting rights of the 2015 WBSC Premier12 across all media platforms, including online and television.
Baseball is the most popular spectator sport in South Korea, and stars from the nation’s top professional sport league, Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), will unite to defend world No. 8 South Korea in the inaugural WBSC Premier12 global baseball battle.
The new global platform will feature, for the first time ever, head-to-head action between the professional National Teams of the Top 12 countries in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings.The 2015 WBSC Premier12 will be the top international baseball event of the year, also offering the top purse and highest award of world ranking points.
“WBSC is thrilled to partner with one of South Korea’s premier national networks,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “Through SBS’s leading multiplatform network, millions of passionate fans in this great baseball nation will be able to follow all the action of some of their heroes competing in their country’s name on the WBSC Premier12 global stage. The SBS-WBSC partnership on Premier12 is another major milestone that highlights the appeal of this new flagship event — and National Team competitions in our sport, in general – and further positions baseball’s growth and stronghold in this key market.”
Said SBS CEO Woong-mo Lee: “SBS is extremely delighted to be WBSC’s exclusive partner to bring this exciting new international baseball flagship product to audiences nationwide in South Korea. SBS prides itself on featuring premium content that is in demand, resonates with the widest range of our loyal viewers and sparks increased viewership, and adding the WBSC Premier12 and more baseball to SBS’s portfolio is a reflection on this successful strategy.”
Before heading to Taiwan for the official start of the group phase, rivals South Korea and top-ranked Japan will meet in a special opener of the WBSC Premier12 on 8 November at the 40,000-seat Sapporo Dome. It will be the first time in six years that the top professional National Teams of Samurai Japan and South Korea collide.
Japan and South Korea are in Group B, alongside No. 2 United States, No. 6 Dominican Republic, No. 10 Venezuela and No. 12 Mexico.
In Group A: No. 3 Cuba, No. 4 Chinese Taipei, No. 5 Netherlands, No. 7 Canada, No. 9 Puerto Rico and No. 11 Italy.
The top four nations from each group will advance to the quarter-final knockout stage in Taiwan, with the WBSC Premier12 moving to Japan’s Tokyo Dome for the semi-finals and finals.