One World Sports Hooks Exclusive Rights Pact to Japan's Hiroshima Carp6/21/2012 6:52 AM Eastern
One World Sports, continuing to bolster its programming roster, has secured exclusive U.S. distribution rights to select home games of Japanese baseball team, the Hiroshima Carp.
The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, gives One World Sports, which focuses on sports from Asia and the Pacific, access to 28 Carp home games at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium. The contests, telecast in English, will feature the team matching up against such top clubs as the Yomiuri Giants and last year's Japan Series winner, the Fukuoka Hawks. The Carp, a member of the Japanese Central League, will also play the Chiba Marines, the Chunichi Dragons, the Hanshin Tigers, the Orix Buffaloes, the Rukuten Eagles, the Saitama Lions, the Tokyo Swallows, and the Yokohama Baystars.
"Japan has become a huge source of high-impact-talent for U.S. Major League Baseball teams," said One World Sports senior vice president of sales Richard Stone in announcing the deal. "New York Yankees pitcher Hiroki Kuroda was formerly with the Carp, and his matchup against former Nippon Ham Fighters pitcher Yu Darvish , now with the Texas Rangers, made headlines across the U.S earlier this year.
The Carp contract follows One World Sports' recent rights extension to firm up its footing with Asian futbol. The network, currently carried by Dish Network and commercial establishmens, inked a multiyear, multiplatform rights pact to the Asian Football Confederation, with the agreement encompassing the AFC Champions League, the region's World Cup qualifiers for the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the Olympic 2016 Rio Games Asian Qualifiers, and the Asian Cup Australia 2015.
Last month at Cable Show 2012 in Boston, One World Sports netted renewals with Japan's J. League, the Korea Professional Football League, known as the K-League and the Chinese Football Association Super League.
Stone said the AFC renewal guarantees that the 2015 Asian Cup, Asia's top soccer competition, as well as ongoing live coverage of AFC events, will be available in the U.S: "It's part of our long-term commitment to deliver not only the best soccer events live, but also baseball, basketball, and golf venues from Asia and other parts of the world as well exclusively, in English, and at an especially affordable price because of our proprietary technology. We're excited to extend our exclusive rights to AFC events through 2016."