Japan 48%, Puerto Rico 61%… Baseball fans all over the world were excited, only Korea was sullen

The World Baseball Classic (WBC), which began with the ambition of ‘globalization of baseball’, will celebrate its 5th tournament in 2023. Looking at the process, it seems a bit slow, but the WBC has continued to grow both externally and internally.

In particular, from this year, the number of teams participating in the finals has increased to 20, and while each country has a better lineup and players are more motivated to participate in the competition, the box office is evaluated as smooth. The cheering of baseball fans has also become louder than before. Not only has the number of spectators increased, but also the viewership ratings show that trend.

Baseball is the most popular sport in Korea, and Japan, which hosted the first and second rounds at home, is the most successful country. Immediately, all five matches of the Japanese national team held at the Tokyo Dome were sold out. Basically, it cruised with all the beats of box office success, including high baseball popularity, anticipation for tournament results, participation of major league players including Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels), and consecutive victories.

Viewership ratings for the Japanese national team continue to exceed 40%. The viewership rating for the Korea-Japan match between Korea and Sookmyung on the 10th was 44.4%, the highest viewership rating among WBC Japanese matches ever. Then, on the 16th, in the quarterfinals against Italy, he achieved 48%, breaking this record in a matter of days. Due to the time difference, ratings for the semi-finals and possible finals are somewhat unknown, but Japan has proven itself worthy of hosting the WBC.

Some countries are worse than Japan. Baseball is also the most popular sport in Korea, and Puerto Rico is the ‘dream’ of many people. According to local reports, the viewership rating in Puerto Rico for the last match between the Dominican Republic and Group D in the first round of the finals recorded a whopping 61%. It seems that the ratings exploded because it was a match against the Dominican Republic, a neighboring town with a sense of rivalry, as well as advancing to the quarterfinals. Puerto Rico repaid the support of the fans by winning the match against the Dominican Republic and suffering the elimination of their rivals.

This competition is creating several stories. The Czech national team, which climbed up from the bottom despite its poor league and poor baseball infrastructure, was the hottest topic regardless of its performance. Ohtani, who played against the Czech Republic, was recognized enough to write the word ‘respect’ on social media. The Czech national team was treated as the most popular in the country, at least during this tournament. 안전놀이터

Italy and Australia also broke expectations and passed the first round, receiving loud applause from the fans. Following the defeat of the United States in the first round of the finals, Mexico, which advanced to the semifinals, also greeted the president with a warm welcome. It is evaluated that the virtuous circle drawn by the WBC is working properly, such as the national energy being gathered through baseball and interest in baseball growing.

On the other hand, Korea is gloomy. The viewership rating for the match against Japan and Korea was 11.7% of the total of the three broadcasters, and it became a tournament that only confirmed the angry public sentiment of the fans, such as losing to Australia and failing to advance to the second round. Despite having a relatively successful pro league, it was confirmed that it failed to follow the global trend. When the 6th tournament is scheduled to be held in 3 years, can we finish the tournament with some kind of positive energy?