Japan to Broadcast Games in the United States

The Pacific League is hoping to expose Japanese baseball to United States audiences. They have signed a contract with United States sports channel For the Fans, an alternate name for Eleven Sports Network in the United States, to televise 200 games for the remainder of the Nippon Professional Baseball season. Japan had hoped to get a contract with ESPN but the start of major league baseball season and the broadcast of KBO games filled the time slots for baseball.

The Japanese baseball market has not expanded globally, mainly because of the conservative nature of the Central League, which has the team favorites Yomiuri Giants and Hanshin Tigers. Without interleague play this year those television broadcasts will not include any games involving Central League teams, meaning their exposure to United States audiences will be absent.

The television exposure will hopefully make the Pacific League teams more popular with the global markets leading to increased opportunities for merchandise sales in the United States. The Yomiuri Giants and Hanshin Tigers would continue to lead the Japanese teams in selling merchandise to the Japanese market, but the Pacific League teams could surpass them in merchandise sales worldwide if they create a strong United States market to supplement their merchandise sales in the Japanese market.

Next on the agenda for the Pacific League would be a television market for Latin America.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.