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WBC a big hit with TV viewers in Japan

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Even if Japan wins the championship it will be a pyrrhic victory, since its roster of talented athletes has been depleted by defections to the US Major Leagues. In fact, MLB scouts will probably watch the tournament just to see who they can sign up.

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What was the TV viewing rate of the Korea/China game yesterday? Oh wait... it was ZERO since it was not offered on terrestrial TV. I think this entire story is a farce, and should say only, "Team Japan (Samurai) are a big hit on Japanese TV", since there is nothing of the WBC being aired save Japan games and the constant replays of them, as well as TV adds featuring the 'samurai', etc.

What a joke.

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I'd also like to know viewing figures for the Korea-China game so we can judge how successful an event is.

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Very successful I must say. Didn't even know the WBC was on air!!

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Even in "TV for idiots Japan" the coverage bordered on disgraceful,like some kind war...WOW Japan,you beat Korea at baseball !

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What was the TV viewing rate of the Korea/China game yesterday? Oh wait... it was ZERO since it was not offered on terrestrial TV.

It's on SkyPerfect anyway; who needs broadcast TV?

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Headline should read "WBC broadcast games of Japanese team big hit with viewers, other games ignored" That would have been an accurate headline.

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Still was a good game. At least give the team its credit.

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You can find all sports events online these days for free if you look hard enough.

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IchyaWarFare: "Still was a good game. At least give the team its credit."

You fall perfectly into the trap of what most people are saying. "It was a good game". There have been more than 10 played so far, and even TWO broadcast in Japan. Of course, the article touches largely on the Korea/Japan game, but still. And anyway, that was not an example of a good game at all; good games were Netherlands vs. Dominican, Canada vs. US, etc.

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Canada vs USA game was awesome!

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Canada vs USA game was awesome!

To the credit of the Japanese media, I only thought there were three teams in this WBC thing: Japan, Korea, China.

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I only thought there were three teams in this WBC thing: Japan, Korea, China.

You obviously don't follow baseball.

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What was the TV viewing rate of the Korea/China game yesterday? Oh wait... it was ZERO

I suggest joining the rest of the people in the free world, and start investing in cable television. Heck, even in the U.S., I know of no one who sticks with free terrestrial television anymore. Everyone pays a bit per month for cable. Then again, those who stick with only terrestrial, are either (a) too busy to watch TV, or (b) too cheap to invest in cable (or satellite TV).

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Oh, and when I signed on with my cable company here in Japan, I got several sports channels that came with the basic package, like JSports 1, JSports 2, and JSports ESPN, and GAORA, etc. Even NHK BS1 and BS2 shows a great deal of sports. And believe it or not, 75% of the games being showed do not involve one single Japanese player on it. For instance, they show a ton of soccer games from the Premiere League and Liga Espanola. I've also been able to see a number of NBA and NFL games (with a one or two day delay) too. Don't care much for darts, badminton, F1 racing, table tennis, or WWF and NWA wrestling, but they are also constantly being shown on those channels. Yet, if I were picky about selecting only MLB or NBA games, I could opt to pay about 2000 yen extra a month for a few more channels, but I'm satisfied with my options so far.

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Hotbox08: thank you!!!! Great posts! and I fall into choice a and b.

smithinjapan: I fall into the category is I watch what is on. I am not Japanese, are you? I assume not. And the game was good. They whipped Korea's butt. Now, were the other games better? bet they were, but unless you are a paying customer, do not complain. Because you are either like me and do not have much time or too cheap or you just like to complain cause, hey I am a foreigner in Japan and I do not get what I want.

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Hotbox: "I suggest joining the rest of the people in the free world, and start investing in cable television. Heck, even in the U.S., I know of no one who sticks with free terrestrial television anymore."

Appreciate it, and I'm not at all naive to the 'technological advances' of the likes of cable and what not. In fact, I had cable until I moved a year ago. Thought about going for it again as an add on to the internet package, but in the end went against it. The choice had nothing to do with money, and a lot to do with time. What's more, sports channels aside, cable is pretty much useless. I found myself increasingly frustrated by Fox TV's constant 'Let's start a 12 year old drama series again from season one after getting to three!' and calling it an "encore". Do you know on Fox they would (and probably still do) show a single episode of a hit Western show about 12 times in two weeks?

Anyway, the main reason was time, and while I'm not cheap it's just not worth the money. What's more, I found that when I WAS home I was watching Western shows more and more instead of Japanese TV, and my general listening comprehension suffered slightly as a result. Japanese TV is crap, granted, and I still hardly ever have time to turn on the set, but it wasn't worth getting cable in any case.

As for terrestrial TV vs. cable in general, you just cannot compare things in Japan with other countries. The reason you don't know a single person in the US without cable is because if you simply plug in your TV in North America you get NOTHING! You have to at the very least subscribe to a minimal cable package, which will give you some 30 plus channels of varying quality. Here you buy cable, get plenty of channels, and STILL are expected to pay NHK fees! (it's true!).

Okay, all that having been said, it's still no excuse not to air other games. I'm not whining about this fact based on my personal inability to see games as a result, I'm talking about what makes up the essence of an international sporting event, and the manners that go with them -- particularly from a country that is now vying for both the Olympics and WC in the future!!!

The title is about Japanese who have been enjoying the WBC on TV, but it's clearly in regards to two games, and that's all, and those are the Japan games. I don't care if cable is 20 yen or 8000 a month, I shouldn't have to subscribe to it just to watch an international sporting event that is being played in this country.

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IchyaWarFare: "And the game was good. They whipped Korea's butt."

I don't consider kicking one team's butt, as you say, the basis for what qualifies a game as 'good'. I wouldn't consider an ice hockey game between Canada and Japan as 'good' simply because the Canadian players would probably score some 30 goals in it. Likewise, having watched a rerun of the Korea/China game on ESPN (web), I wouldn't say it was a good game at all, despite Korea REALLY kicking China's butt. Would you?

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Smithinjapan- please quit saying "points" when refering to how many "runs" were scored in a game. I've read a tone of posts from you the last few days regarding the WBC and it's obvious you don't follow baseball, so why do you comment so much? Perhaps it's the same reason why you and others are compaining (again) about the lack of coverage on TV when it's been like that for many years and nothing's changed. Japan is still down 1-0 in the top of the ninth against Korea. Is the tiebreaker (if Korea wins) total runs head-to-head or sum total of the entire round(against mutual teams)? Seems that Japan would get the tiebreak if it's head-to-head and play Australia(if they can win again) instead of Cuba next round. Huge diffenrence there.

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chessnutroastin: I can call it points if I please. I do follow baseball, although not outside the major tournaments recently, and played hardball through my childhood. I sometimes call them runs, sometimes points; who cares? Care to comment on the thread instead of simply my calling 'runs' points in many cases?

"Perhaps it's the same reason why you and others are compaining (again) about the lack of coverage on TV when it's been like that for many years and nothing's changed."

Really... and how 'many' years has the WBC been broadcast? Only the second time in three years, I know. Okay, so beyond that, let's say you're right... then why does Japan purport to deserve more international sporting events and say it's foreign-friendly etc. when according to you they've always been the way they are and probably not going to change?

The point many people on this thread are making is that the headline, and story itself, are incredibly misleading. The Japanese can't possibly be enjoying anything but the Japanese games, and to suggest that the whole tournament is a big hit in Japan is therefore false advertising to say the least.

That's all I have to say on this thread... and I'll be curious to see just how much of a 'huge hit' tonight's game was with its result.

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Richard_III - There are other teams in this tournament besides Japan???

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smithinjapan:

Do you know on Fox they would (and probably still do) show a single episode of a hit Western show about 12 times in two weeks?

Yes, I do know that. However, there have been a few instances where I was glad that I could catch a rerun of a show that I wanted to watch at a time which was convenient for me, since I confess that I have no patience for recording shows (and I don't subscribe to TiVo either).

Japanese TV is crap, granted, and I still hardly ever have time to turn on the set, but it wasn't worth getting cable in any case.

True, in general, Japanese shows are crap. However, I have come across some excellent programming (some of which have been sadly cancelled). For instance, I suggest watching "世界ふれあい街歩き" on NHK Sunday nights at about 11:30 pm. (I still can't get over how smooth the camerawork on this show is; I always feel as if I'm walking the streets in that country they visit each week), "Sekai fushigi haken" on TBS (I always learn something new about the world on this show), "Amazing Animals" on TBS Sunday nights (I have to confess that I have a great interest in animals), and "ワンステップ!" on Nippon TV (which I always have a hard time watching, because it is shown the same time as "世界ふれあい街歩き").

Okay, all that having been said, it's still no excuse not to air other games.

Why is it an excuse, I've just proven that they DO air other games; just not on terrestrial TV. It is the same in the States. Whenever there is a major tournament or event, such as the Olympics, they don't and can't show every event or game on terrestrial TV. Other stations like ESPN (yes, ESPN is not a terrestrial channel) end up picking up the slack on airing other games or events. Why should Japan be any more special? If you want to see the other games, watch NHK BS1 or BS2.

I'm talking about what makes up the essence of an international sporting event, and the manners that go with them --

Then you should direct these comments to all countries, because it happens in all countries.

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Hotbox: Of course you know I mean in general when I say Japanese TV is crap, and know of a few programs that are not. I don't want to get into the whole FOX channel reruns again... I was just using that as an example to show how poor the broadcast standards can be when you air something 14 times in a week or so, and 2 years behind most other nations.

Again, though, you canNOT compare terrestrial TV in most Western countries with what it is here. As I said, in Canada, you cannot simply use a coaxial cable to connect your TV and get 8 or 9 channels. You get, without a paid subscription, ZERO channels, save perhaps for a very fuzzy UHF channel if your TV is old enough and you still have an antenna. Even the most basic cable package, however, in said country will get you up to 30 or more channels (haven't been there lately), and definitely sports and movie channels to boot.

Of course even countries like the US, Canada, and Britain can't show ALL the events in the Olympics, and actually the US is another country that can be pretty nationalistic come Olympic time (in Canada we get both Canadian and American channels and trust me there is a BIG difference come international sporting events!), but imagine if, for example, in Britan they refused to show an event that India was involved in because it did not involve Britain too! There would be mobs in the street.

As I said, for TERRESTRIAL TV, there is still NO excuse not to air ANY games that don't involve Japan, particularly when it is hosting the pool A games.

"Then you should direct these comments to all countries, because it happens in all countries."

Not to the extent it happens here, my friend. Not airing the overseas games, I can see it to an extent, but the other Asian nation games, when Japan is hosting? Disgusting.

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"Again, though, you canNOT compare terrestrial TV in most Western countries with what it is here. As I said, in Canada, you cannot simply use a coaxial cable to connect your TV and get 8 or 9 channels. You get, without a paid subscription, ZERO channels, save perhaps for a very fuzzy UHF channel if your TV is old enough and you still have an antenna. Even the most basic cable package, however, in said country will get you up to 30 or more channels (haven't been there lately), and definitely sports and movie channels to boot."

You're right smithinjapan. But as you've pointed out, without paying for anything in Canada, you can watch basically nothing, while in Japan, you can pay nothing (this is of course if you've chosen not to pay for NHK) and still watch WBC games, albeit only games involving Japan, among a whole lot of other programming. Japanese TV offers you a lot more for free than Canadian TV does. Why the complaints?

The reality is, not everybody would be interested in watching a game between Taiwan and China, and if there aren't going to be a whole lot of viewers for that, why would any station decide to lose money broadcasting it? The solution to that of course, is offering it on cable channels, so that the provider would get something for their troubles.

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"WBC a big hit with TV viewers in Japan"

Ahhh, the irony ! Imagine if they really promoted the tournement as outlined in the WBC objective. Once again Japans focus on nationalism interferes with the big picture.

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throwinstones - How do you propose they promote it more? And to whom? To the other three countries? If so, how would you go about doing that? Don't most countries take care of promoting their own national teams?

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These WBC games are exciting. People get caught up in the nationalism of the games. I can't imagine a lot of people wanting to watch a Carp-Bay Stars game. WBC may be hurting Japan's pro baseball league. Just my 2 yens worth.

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