— Coverage of new WBSC global baseball flagship event generated 253 million potential broadcast reach

— WBSC Premier12 captured No. 1 TV ratings in 2015 in host nations Japan, Taiwan for an international sporting event

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today announced that the inaugural 2015 WBSC Premier12 staged in Japan and Taiwan generated a cumulative potential broadcast reach of 253.7 million households and produced an estimated US$ 131 million in worldwide TV advertising value and brand exposure for tournament sponsors, WBSC and the sport of baseball.

The global broadcast and sponsorship performance of the 2015 WBSC Premier12 was measured by the independent sports marketing and research firm, SMG Insight.

In terms of overall media coverage, ratings and broadcast hours, the inaugural WBSC Premier12 was the premier international sports event on the 2015 calendar in host nations Japan and Taiwan.

The 2015 global championship, which brought together baseball’s top 12 men’s National Teams in the world last November, and won by No. 8 South Korea, registered 235,951 fans in attendance over 38 games.

A total of nearly US$ 4 million was awarded in prize money.

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari welcomed the report on the broadcast and media coverage, brand exposure and digital consumption of the Premier12.

“The Premier12 was an overwhelming success that generated valuable exposure for our partners, our sport and the players themselves,” Fraccari said. “The reach, coverage and commercial power of the inaugural WBSC Premier12 further highlight the continued international appeal of baseball and how it could serve as an Olympic sport.”

Broadcast and Sponsorship Value

Broadcasters around the world aired 2,258 hours (1,464 hours or 65% live) of the 2015 WBSC Premier12 across 58 markets for an estimated US$ 131 million in brand exposure and advertising value for WBSC’s global championship partners and WBSC.

SMG Insight analysed the brand impact and exposure of the 2015 WBSC Premier12 official partners, which included Asahi Beer, Dandy House, GungHo, Hublot, Meiji, Nippon Express, Nissan, Play for Change, Recruit Holdings, Taipei 2017 and Yomiuri Shimbun.

Sponsorship and broadcast rights distribution for the 2015 Premier12 was overseen by WBSC global marketing partner, MP & Silva.

Ratings Highlights:

The first-ever WBSC Premier12 was the most watched international sports program of 2015 in host nations Japan (TV Asahi and TBS) and Taiwan (Videoland):

  • Japan vs. South Korea semifinal on 19 Nov. at the Tokyo Dome was the No. 1 international sports TV programme in Japan in 2015, with a rating share of 25.2%
  • Chinese Taipei vs. Puerto Rico Opening Round game on 15 Nov. was the most watched sports programme in Taiwan in 2015 (5.27% rating)

Male/Female Demographics

The new flagship event highlighted the sport’s connection and appeal to both male and females, as females represented 40% of the WBSC Premier12 global TV audience.

Press Coverage

Online media penetration of the inaugural Premier12 exceeded 30k news articles, according to media intelligence experts Meltwater.

Yahoo, one of the biggest web portals in the world, featured a dedicated 2015 WBSC Premier12 “live” tournament page in the sports sections of Yahoo Taiwan and Yahoo Japan, while South Korea’s most popular portal Naver also built a dedicated Premier12 page.

Global newswire giant Associated Press (AP) produced a preview and provided daily reports on the WBSC flagship baseball event, while Agence France-Presse (AFP) furnished news reports on the semifinals and finals.

The two biggest sports leagues in the world (in terms of annual attendance), Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball, featured 2015 WBSC Premier12 coverage on their websites, while the top sports leagues in South Korea (Korea Baseball Organization) and Taiwan (Chinese Professional Baseball League) also provided extensive coverage, connecting with large fan-bases.

Yomiuri Shimbun, an official sponsor of the WBSC Premier12, which has the widest circulation of any newspaper in the world, also promoted the new flagship event to their massive readership through advertising, in addition to providing comprehensive Premier12 tournament news coverage.

In host nation Japan, a staggering 4,004 articles on the 2015 Premier12 were printed in newspapers, which included several front/full page editorials.

Online Viewership and Engagement

Fans from 217 countries watched 264,822 hours of the 2015 WBSC Premier12 via the WBSC YouTube channel (youtube.com/wbsc), generating 1.27 million views and 112k comments.

Audiences in the U.S. logged in the most viewing hours, registering 22% of the total viewing time of the Premier12 on WBSC’s YouTube channel.

Chinese Taipei and Puerto Rico’s extra-inning, sellout thriller on 15 Nov. at Taichung Intercontinental Stadium generated the most live-stream comments at 25k.

In total, Premier12 live-streaming, highlights and instant replays surpassed more than 10 million video views across WBSC’s official Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts.

Social Media Buzz

The 2015 WBSC Premier12 produced a major buzz on Twitter, the official Premier12 social media partner, with the integration of a powerful suite of Twitter tools that included Twitter Amplify, Twitter Mirror, Twitter Polls, Periscope and SnappyTV.

Twitter Highlights:

@WBSC attracted:

  • 51.4 million impressions
  • 157k retweets, for an average of 253 RTs per tweet
  • 4.6 million video views
  • 1.2 million Vine loops
  • 1.3 million profile visits
  • Autographed Twitter Mirror (selfie) of Japan/Nippon-Ham Fighters star Sho Nakata (see here) was the most popular tweet, with 3,645 RTs/6,018 (at time of writing)
  • Official hashtag #Premier12 among top trends in host nation Japan and winner South Korea

Twitter’s partnership and integration was key not only as a first-source of information, but also as an effective method in helping deliver an exciting major sporting event atmosphere through such features as exclusive close-ups, player/team selfies, behind-the-scenes content and instant replays via Twitter Amplify.

Facebook Highlights:

Facebook.com/wbsc generated:

  • 36.4 million impressions
  • 4.7 million video views
  • 408k likes, comments and shares
  • Video of Chinese Taipei/CPBL Chinatrust Brothers Chih-Sheng Lin’s dramatic home run against Cuba was the most liked WBSC post, with 9,589 likes (see here)

Official WBSC Website:

  • Fans from 201 countries and territories visited www.wbsc.org a record 1.67 million times during the Premier12, the highest-ever daily traffic since the world governing body first launched its website in the 1990s.

Premier12 Coverage, Brand Exposure and Digital Consumption — Highlights Summary:

  • 253.7 million potential household reach
  • 2,258 dedicated broadcast hours in 58 markets
  • US$ 131 million in sponsorship value and brand exposure
  • Males 60%, Females 40% of TV audience
  • No. 1 international sports TV content in 2015 in host nations Japan and Taiwan
  • Nearly US$ 4 million in prize money
  • 235,951 in ticketing/attendance
  • 30k online news articles produced
  • 87 million impressions generated via WBSC on Twitter and Facebook
  • 10 million video views of live-stream and highlights across WBSC online platforms
  • 264,822 hours viewed via the WBSC YouTube channel
  • Record 1.67 million visits to wbsc.org
  • 408k likes, comments and shares at facebook.com/wbsc