LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The inaugural WBSC Premier12™ in November 2015 recorded the highest volume of online engagement/discussion in Taiwan for the six-month period of October 2015 to March 2016, in the category of entertainment, according to a report published by OpView, the nation’s leading online and social media listening and analysis service.
Reinforcing the sport’s popularity and global reach, the WBSC flagship international baseball competition (WBSC世界十二強) registered a 25% difference over the second-most popular entertainment topic and was the only sports competition to make the top 10 entertainment list in the Q4 2015 to Q1 2016 reporting period.
WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said: “The WBSC thanks Chinese Taipei’s passionate fans, media and partner Videoland — the nation’s premier sports network — for helping this new Premier12 global baseball product debut as the number one entertainment topic across the internet in this important territory. The high level of engagement further underlines the appeal, particularly among young digital users, of Premier12 as a major international sports asset and as the driver of our national team Baseball World Cup properties.”
The 2015 WBSC Premier12, which brought together the national teams from the top 12 countries in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings, also set multiple 2015 TV ratings records in Taiwan, according to previously published reports.
The 2015 WBSC Premier12 was also the most watched international sporting event of the year in co-host Japan — host nation of the 2020 Olympic Games — and generated over 2 billion social media impressions globally — the highest number ever recorded for an international baseball event.
The overall potential broadcast reach for the inaugural Premier12 was 253.7 million households while fans from 217 countries and territories watched online.
The next WBSC Premier12 will be staged in 2019 and could potentially serve as a Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifier.
Baseball/softball is among five new sports that Tokyo 2020, under Agenda 2020 reforms, has proposed to the International Olympic Committee as a “package of events that represents both traditional and emerging, youth-focused events, all of which are popular both in Japan and internationally.” The IOC will take a final vote on Tokyo 2020’s additional sports proposal in early August.
The full OpView report can be viewed (in Mandarin Chinese) here.
— WBSC (@WBSC) November 11, 2015