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WBSC sees Japanese TV broadcasts of Women’s Baseball World Cup as boost for Olympics campaign

posted Nov 17, 2014, 11:54 AM by Jairy Otero

Baseball - 03 Sep 2014

Extensive media coverage in Japan of the Women’s Baseball World Cup currently taking place in the country can only help baseball and softball in their campaign to be added to the programme for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, according to the international governing body for the two sports.

The World Baseball Softball Confederation has hailed what it regarded as a successful start to the tournament, with four games held on Monday, including the clash between Japan and Australia, which was televised across the host country by cable network TV Asahi.

TV Asahi has acquired rights to the World Cup games of the Japanese women’s team, the three-time defending world champions, while MRT TV is providing delayed coverage of the games in the Miyazaki region, where all of the fixtures are being played.

In addition, viewers in Japan and around the world can follow live streaming in high definition of the team’s games for free at internetv.tv, the online platform of AYM Sports, the Mexico-based cable and satellite broadcaster.

Men’s baseball and women’s softball were unsuccessful with an initial campaign to join the programme of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo – a hotbed for the sports – but still harbour hopes of a late decision to include them as part of a review of the process for ‘refreshing’ the Olympic programme presently under way by the International Olympic Committee under its president Thomas Bach’s ‘Olympic Agenda 2020’ initiative.

Recent ventures supported by the WBSC have included the LG Cup, a new international women’s baseball event held in Incheon in South Korea, in partnership with LG Electronics and the Women’s Baseball Association of Korea.

The WBSC believes the Japanese coverage of the Women’s Baseball World Cup is providing a further boost to its Olympics campaign, saying: "The domestic broadcasts following growing demand for content featuring Japan’s national baseball and softball teams as the popularity of the two WBSC disciplines continues to boom in Japan – the Olympic 2020 host nation – where baseball and softball are the most popular national sports and hope to be included at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, pending a review of the Olympic sports selection process due for discussion at a special IOC Session in Monaco in December."

The tournament in Japan involves the hosts plus Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, USA and Venezuela and concludes with the final on Sunday.