LAUSANNE, Switzerland –  The World Baseball Softball Confederation today welcomed record-breaking attendance and top ratings being generated by the World Baseball Classic 2017, the official WBSC top-tier national team baseball world championship hosted in partnership with Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association.

The Sunday, 12 March prime time game between Japan and Netherlands at the Tokyo Dome was one of, if not the most-watched TV programme of the day in Japan, according to independent Japanese media reports.

The extra-inning thriller won by Japan in 11 innings saw an average TV viewership in Japan of 25.2%, peaking at 32.6% Sunday night, while official attendance for the contest at the Tokyo Dome was 44,326.

Record Attendance in Miami

The Saturday, 11 March game between the Dominican Republic and United States set a new attendance record for a baseball game at Marlins Park, with a capacity crowd of 37,446.

Social Media Buzz

Opening round and second round games have also generated a buzz on social media with the official hashtag #WBC2017 trending in multiple countries. Several game-specific topics/players have also been the subject of top volumes and have been trending on Twitter.

“These early figures confirm that the World Baseball Classic will be one of the biggest international sports events in 2017 in terms of attendance, broadcast and online viewership, and social media engagement,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari.  “National Team baseball products are as popular as ever among all our stakeholders, fans and partners. This is a tremendous sign of what is to come at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.”

The 6-22 March World Baseball Classic 2017 is being transmitted across 182 countries and territories for a potential reach of more than 415 million households.