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Inaugural U21 Baseball World Cup secures broadcast coverage, moves into exciting Super Round Robin stage

posted Nov 17, 2014, 4:12 PM by Unknown user


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                 13 NOVEMBER 2014





Baseball legend and home run king Sadaharu Oh performed a "ceremonial first swing" to officially open the first-ever 21U Baseball World Cup.


TAICHUNG, Taiwan -- The six National Team finalists continuing on to the next stage -- the Super Round Robin -- of the inaugural WBSC Under-21 Baseball World Cup at Intercontinental Stadium have been determined after five days of competition, which is being televised in key markets and globally via online platforms. (See Photos.)


Baseball legend and home run king Sadaharu Oh performed a "ceremonial first swing" last Friday to officially open the first-ever U21 Baseball World Cup, which includes players representing their countries from such top professional leagues as the Australian Baseball League, Chinese Professional Baseball League, Korea Baseball Organization, Mexican Baseball League (LMB) and Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).


The successful launch of baseball's newest international event highlights the strong and growing appeal -- and commercial revenues and returns -- that baseball and softball bring for broadcasters, by combining dramatic displays of on-field action and athleticism with the atmosphere, engagement and excitement of fans in the stands. 


Following 25 opening round contests, the 11-nation U21 world championship sees Australia, host Chinese Taipei, Czech Republic, Japan, Nicaragua and South Korea advance to compete in the three-day Super Round Robin, with the top two finishers in the standings meeting Sunday for the honour of being crowned the first-ever U21 world champion. (See Full Results and Schedule.)


Chinese Taipei, South Korea and the Czech Republic advance from Group A and will now be matched up in the Super Round Robin against the three best -- Japan, Nicaragua and Australia -- from Group B. Both Chinese Taipei and Japan finished the preliminary round robin with undefeated records to lead their respective groups.


The spread of nations advancing to the Super Round Robin represent a footprint that spans across four continents, including the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania. World No. 25 New Zealand was three outs away from advancing to the Super Round Robin, but could not close the door on No. 8 South Korea Tuesday night, dropping the contest 4-1, which opened the door for Czech Republic to advance.


The opening round also featured a rivalry match-up between Chinese Taipei and South Korea -- an emotional contest that was won by the host nation in front of more than 10,000 energetic and chanting fans (see Vine clip.). The electric in-stadium atmosphere produced was similar to that of the Chinese Taipei versus South Korea gold medal contest of the Asian Games in Incheon South Korea, where the host nation captured the gold.  


Chinese Taipei's U21 roster features film actor Yu-Ning Tsao, who had a smashing debut performance in the hit baseball film, "Kano", which was released this February in Taiwan and has been featured in theatres internationally. The actor/player was also nominated for Rookie Actor of the Year in the Golden Horse Award (Taiwanese version of Academy Award).  


Further excitement and fan-following has surrounded the U21 Baseball World Cup as it is the final global competition before announcing the twelve qualified teams for "The Premier 12", the new flagship, pro-player international baseball tournament that will be launched next year and will feature the world's Top 12 ranked nations and award US$ multi-millions in prize money.


No. 15 Australia is trying to make a last minute push in Taichung to bypass No. 12 Panama and No. 13 Mexico to become a "Premier 12" nation.


Broadcast Coverage and Global Streaming  


Thirty-five of the forty-three U21 Baseball World Cup contests are being produced and televised nationally across Taiwan via Videoland, which reaches nearly 60% of all Taiwan households, and across the Americas by AYM Sports' cable networks and online platforms, which have a potential broadcast reach of more than 85 million households and online/mobile users. Coverage of the U21 Baseball World Cup will be made available globally via AYM Sports' online pay-per-view platform, internetv.tv


J-Sports, one of the largest sports TV networks in Japan, with a platform reaching out to 7 million households, will broadcast all matches featuring No. 2 Samurai Japan -- whose U21 roster is made up of mostly young NPB stars. Japan will take over the No. 1 ranking in the world from USA, if Japan puts in a gold- or silver-medal-performance.


WBSC officials indicate that the broadcast footprint for WBSC-sanctioned world and international events is ever-expanding and taking the bat-and-ball sports to new markets and attracting more women and young people into the sport, which serves to boost National Federation grassroots training and competition programs.  


Classification Round  


Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Venezuela will be grouped together and continue play to determine the 7-11th place classification. 


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For more information on the 21U Baseball World Cup and real-time updates and coverage, please follow:

@U21WorldCup on Twitter
BaseballWorldCup on Facebook, Instagram and Vine

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About the World Baseball Softball Confederation:

Headquartered in the Olympic Capital city of Lausanne, Switzerland, the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) was established in April 2013 and granted recognition as the sole competent authority in baseball and softball by the International Olympic Committee at the 125th IOC Session in September 2013. The WBSC represents a united baseball/softball sports movement that encompasses over 65 million athletes worldwide.


The WBSC governs all international competitions involving any of the National Teams of its 141 National Federation members.  


The WBSC also oversees the Baseball World Cups and Softball World Championships and is the only sports organisation in the world that oversees a U-12 youth national team world championship.


The WBSC currently has National Federation members in 141 countries and territories across Asia, Africa, Americas (Caribbean, Central-, North- and South-America), Europe and Oceania. 


For further information, please go to www.WBSC.co.


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