TBS, TV Asahi win TV rights for WBSC Premier12

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 20 July 2015

Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) and TV Asahi have acquired the broadcast rights in Japan for the inaugural World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12 event, to be held in Japan and Taiwan this November.

Through the deal, the broadcasters will be able to deliver free-to-air coverage of what is being touted as the year's major international baseball event. WBSC Premier12 will, for the first time, unite the men's professional National Teams from the Top 12 countries in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings.

"The WBSC is thrilled to partner with TBS and TV Asahi to showcase this new and very exciting Premier12 global baseball platform," said Riccardo Fraccari, president, WBSC.

"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 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. The tournament runs until 21 November, with the semi-finals and final at the Tokyo Dome.

The WBSC deal with TV Asahi also includes broadcast rights in Japan for the 2015 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup to be staged in Osaka, Japan from 28 August to 6 September.

"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 Fraccari, "and this is highly important for the global positioning and appeal of our sport, particularly among young people."

Baseball and softball are among eight shortlisted sports under review for potential inclusion at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games