Officials of the Korean baseball team, who returned from the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in Tokyo, Japan, were astonished by the public support and enthusiasm as much as the overwhelming level and performance of the Japanese players. It is a baseball country that loves and admires baseball so much that the expression “nowhere else in the world can follow Japan” comes out. The baseball watching culture of the spectators has matured to the extent that everyone watches with bated breath the moment the pitcher throws the ball, even though it is noisy during the game. 스포츠토토
The Japanese national team, which is considered the best ever at this WBC, advanced to the semifinals by winning all five matches from the first round group stage to the quarterfinal tournament. With the two-time superstar Shohei Otani at the forefront, the WBC fever in Japan is rising as it receives national support.
In fact, the quarterfinal match between Japan and Italy held on the 16th had the highest ratings ever. According to Japanese media such as ‘Sports Nippon’ on the 17th, the average household viewer rating for the match that was broadcast live on TV Asahi reached 48.0%. This year, it ranked first in viewer ratings among all Japanese programs, breaking the record for first place in WBC broadcasting.
Previously, the Korea-Japan match on the 10th was 44.4%, the highest viewership rating among all WBC matches, but it surpassed it in 7 days. The highest household viewership rating in Bundang was 66.3%, higher than the 57.2% before Korea and Japan.
All five matches Japan played in this WBC recorded over 40% viewer ratings. 41.9% of the match against China on the 9th, 44.4% of the match against Korea on the 10th, 43.1% of the match against the Czech Republic on the 11th, 43.2% of the match against Australia on the 12th, and 48.0% of the match against Italy on the 16th.
The Qatar World Cup viewership record held last November was also exceeded. Japan, which advanced to the round of 16 by beating Germany and Spain, recorded the highest viewership rating for Costa Rica in the group stage at 42.9%. Except for the match against Costa Rica, which started at 7:00 p.m. Japan time, it must be taken into account that the rest of the games were played late at night or early in the morning, but it is undeniable that Japanese baseball is far more popular than soccer.
In terms of crowd mobilization, Japan is the best among WBC participating countries. A total of 208,269 spectators, an average of 41,654 cloud spectators, were gathered in the five games played in the home room of the Tokyo Dome. A total of 146,661 players, an average of 36,665, entered the U.S., which played four games in Phoenix, Arizona, but was not matched against Japan. The Dominican Republic, which enjoyed the highest popularity in Miami, Florida, USA, also had a total of 136,918 people in 4 games and an average of 34,230 people.
Japan’s love of baseball is not limited to its own country. A whopping 35,061 spectators visited the stadium for the quarterfinal tournament match between Cuba and Australia held at the Tokyo Dome on the 15th. Although it was not a Japanese game, Japanese fans who like baseball warmed up the stadium atmosphere by visiting and cheering for the quarterfinals of other countries held in their home rooms. The match was also fun with close ice, and Cuba came from behind to win 4-3 against Australia.
Australian national team coach Dave Nielsen, who was congratulated by Japanese fans who came to the accommodation after advancing to the quarterfinals earlier, said after the defeat against Cuba, “I was able to represent Australia in front of the Japanese. It was a really cool contest. I had a good time in Japan, not only in Tokyo, but also in Kyushu, the campground.” The Australian national team also said on their official social media account, “I was humbled by hearing the whole Tokyo Dome cheering for us loudly. It was really cool,’ he said, expressing his gratitude to the Japanese fans for their support.