Lausanne, Switzerland – The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) announced that Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) and TV Asahi have been awarded broadcast rights in Japan for the new WBSC Premier12™ world baseball flagship event that is set to debut in Japan and Taiwan from 8 – 21 November. The agreement with TBS and TV Asahi – two of the most wide-reaching broadcasting networks in Japan – covers free-to-air television delivery of the WBSC Premier12 global baseball tournament.
The agreement follows the recent announcement of the full schedule, tournament bracket and list of venues of the inaugural WBSC Premier12.
The WBSC Premier12 will be the top international baseball event of the year – offering a $US multi-million purse and the biggest payout of world ranking points – and will unite the men’s professional National Teams from the Top 12 countries in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings for the first time ever, battling for the pride of their countries and their position in the baseball world.
“The WBSC is thrilled to partner with TBS and TV Asahi to showcase this new and very exciting Premier12 global baseball platform,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “Matching the WBSC Premier12 with two of Japan’s premier broadcasters like TBS and TV Asahi ensures the most comprehensive and highest quality coverage possible for Japan’s national audience, who are some of the most discerning and enthusiastic baseball fans in the world.”
The world body leader also hailed the agreement with TBS and TV Asahi as a major boost, particularly as baseball and softball are among eight shortlisted sports under review for potential inclusion at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The WBSC Premier12 global baseball battle will open with top-ranked Japan and world No. 8 South Korea on 8 November at Japan’s 40,000-seat Sapporo Dome, bringing the rivals’ star-filled National Teams together for the first time in six years, while the Premier12 semi-finals and finals will take centre stage at the iconic Tokyo Dome.
Expanding on the agreement, broadcast rights in Japan for the 2015 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup™ — to be staged in Osaka, Japan from 28 August – 6 September — were awarded to TV Asahi.
The highest and most elite competition platform for 16-18 year-olds, the last U-18 Baseball World Cup in 2013 had a potential global broadcast reach of 144 million homes and potential online/mobile reach of 20 million.
“Given the current growth trends of our international baseball products, we anticipate that the viewership for the 2015 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Japan will exceed the record numbers set in 2013,” said President Fraccari, “and this is highly important for the global positioning and appeal of our sport, particularly among young people.”