This year’s WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship, which starts on Thursday, will be televised or live-streamed in more than 80 territories worldwide.
The tournament, which takes place in Chiba in Japan, will double up as a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, at which softball is making its Olympics comeback.
The World Baseball Softball Confederation announced on Monday that broadcast and online rights agreements for the World Championship, which comprises 73 games and runs to 12 August, had been signed covering a record 84 countries and territories.
TV Tokyo is acting as the host broadcaster in Japan, while holding exclusive online/mobile and broadcast rights in the country, and will be looking to offer an appealing showcase for softball ahead of the first Olympics tournament since Beijing 2008.
Other rights-holders include Sportradar, the international digital content company, which will provide live streaming in 42 European territories via its dedicated over-the-top platform www.baseballsoftball.tv, FloSports, the live streaming subscription sports service, in USA and Canada (both English language), and AYM Sports, the Mexico-based cable and satellite pay-TV sports broadcaster, in 41 countries across North, South and Central America and the Caribbean (all Spanish language).
In territories not covered by rights deals there will be free-to-view live streaming of the Women’s Softball World Championship on the WBSC YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/wbsc.
Welcoming the broad reach of the deals, WBSC president Riccardo Fraccari said: “These agreements will guarantee record coverage and engagement for the Women's Softball World Championship in Chiba, driving the exposure and excitement of our sport to millions of households and mobile users across the world, while further building the anticipation of baseball and softball's historic return at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020."