BASEBALL

ONE World Sports to televise Yomiuri Giants games in U.S.

NEW YORK/TOKYO —

ONE World Sports, the English-language sports network with exclusive world-class competitions from around the globe, has entered into a licensing agreement with Japan’s Nippon Television Network (NTV) to bring Japan’s most successful baseball team, the Yomiuri Giants – current Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) champion and holder of 22 NBP Championship titles – to millions of baseball fans in North America.

The Giants are Japan’s oldest and most popular baseball team, and are known widely as “The New York Yankees of Japan.”

The landmark agreement provides ONE World Sports exclusive North American rights to broadcast 72 Giants 2013 regular season games via television and broadband, from March 29 through September. The NPB season, and its rules, mirror those of U.S. Major League Baseball (MLB). ONE World Sports will deliver upwards of three Giants games per week in primetime.

“This groundbreaking agreement gives baseball fans in the United States the opportunity to follow the action throughout the season of the most popular Nippon Professional Baseball team—which has produced some of the world’s most accomplished baseball players,” said Alexander Brown, President and CEO of ONE World Sports.

Japanese professional baseball began with the founding of the Yomiuri Giants in 1934 and, since the beginning, the Giants have dominated—winning more pennants and Japan Series than any other team. The team is possibly best known as the home for nearly three decades – as player and manager – of legendary slugger Sadaharu Oh, but more recently has served as busy recruiting territory for MLB.

“We are delighted that the Yomiuri Giants now have the chance to be viewed by American sports fans on ONE World Sports,” stated Yukiko Kimishima, Divisional Vice President, International Business Development. “There has always been a strong connection between the Nippon Professional Baseball and U.S. Major League Baseball, and this new agreement allows the team great exposure in the United States. Japanese and Americans share a love for baseball, and we know that the American audience will enjoy following our team throughout the season.”

ONE World Sports Network is available throughout the U.S. via DISH Network, in the New York metropolitan area via Cablevision’s Optimum TV and in Des Moines, Iowa, Cedar Rapids, Iowa and The Quad Cities (Davenport and Bettandorf, Iowa and Moline, East Moline and Rock Island, Illinois), via Mediacom. 

  • -2

    Ah_so

    I am sure that this is what American baseball fans have been clamoring for. Rather than watch their own baseball teams, the chance to watch the same foreign team playing over and over again.

  • 0

    Meguroman

    Thousands of Japanese in the US will watch it but.....with all the teams & games of MLB I can't imagine too many Americans will watch it on a consistent basis.

  • -2

    sfjp330

    Nobody in the U.S. wants to watch poor quality double "AA" Japan baseball. Guys like Nishioka who batted .330 in Japan plays for the MinnesotaTwins with 3 year, $9 million contract and barely hits .200 before being released. Talk about how the difference between MLB and Japan Minor League teams.

  • 2

    sctaber56

    What a bunch of nay sayers. I think more coverage is a very good thing for the worldwide game of baseball. I hope folks do tune in and watch, especially when the Giants play my current hometown favorites, the Hanshin Tigers!

  • 1

    paulinusa

    Can't say I'd be a constant, dedicated viewer, but I would check it out on occasion.

  • 3

    mrkobayashi

    Nobody in the U.S. wants to watch poor quality double "AA" Japan baseball.

    Typical.

  • 1

    edojin

    Too bad U.S. baseball fans can't see some Pacific League games, too. In past years the Central League has been turning out rather boring contests. And among some of the most boring baseball comes from the Yomiuri Giants ...

  • 0

    lostrune2

    Would European futbol fans watch U.S. futbol? Would MLB fans watch J-baseball? (Half of MLBers are non-Americans.)

  • 1

    Mike DeJong

    Hey SFJP. MLB scouts actually say NPB is more like 4-A, not "poor quality AA baseball."

    And yes, while Nishioka sucked last year, other former NPB'ers were good to outstanding in MLB.

    Yu Darvish finished with 16 wins in his rookie season. After a slow start, he was 5-1 with a 2.35 ERA in his last eight outings. A 20 win season is not out of his reach in the future.

    We all know how great Ichiro and Hideki Matsui were in MLB. But how about Nori Aoki? The Brewers are considering him as their leadoff hitter this year after a solid season, where he batted .288 with 10 home runs, 37 doubles, 30 stolen bases and a .355 OBP.

    Hiroki Kuroda was the Yankees' best starter last year, going 16-11 with a 3.32 ERA.

    Finally, Ryan Vogelsong and Colby Lewis were only average pitchers in Japan. But both went on to become stars in MLB. Vogelsong helped the SF Giants to a World Series title last season with excellent pitching in the post season.

    The best might be yet to come from Japan though: Hiroyuki Nakajima. He should be a star this season as the Oakland A's starting shortstop.

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