TOKYO: The first round of the FIVB World Cup of Women's Volleyball has produced excellent television ratings both in the Tokyo area and throughout Japan. This has been confirmed by officials from the host broadcasters Fuji TV.
Fuji officials reported a rating of 21.8 per cent in the Tokyo area and 20 per cent for Japan. According to the officials, on a national level, one percentage point represents one million television households.
On an international level, matches are being broadcast in the US, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Italy, Poland, Turkey, as well as the Central and South American countries.
The event, the first official Olympic qualifier, is also attracting widespread press coverage in the Japanese domestic print and electronic media. On an international level, mainstream international news agencies and prominent sports electronic media are leading the charge to bring stories of the World Cup to the world. The top three teams directly qualify for the 2004 Olympics.
It helped that the Japanese national team won their first three matches of the 11-match series. The Japanese public not only rewarded the host broadcaster, but also flocked in record crowds to the Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo, the officials state.
Their side defeated Argentina and Egypt each 3-0 and arch rivals Korea (3-2). They now face Italy and the US in round two in the Rainbow Stadium in Nagoya. Here ticket sales on the eve of the opening match were already 98 per cent sold out.