Nadeshiko Japan’s “Buzz” is Still Not Over despite Outright Victory over Spain, TV Stations “Still Can’t Deal with It in Information Programs | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Nadeshiko Japan’s “Buzz” is Still Not Over despite Outright Victory over Spain, TV Stations “Still Can’t Deal with It in Information Programs

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Honoka Hayashi (left) and Risa Shimizu (second from right, photo: AFLO) celebrate after Hinata Miyazawa (second from left) scored the team’s third goal against Spain on July 31.

The Japanese women’s national team, Nadeshiko Japan (ranked 11th in the world), currently participating in the Women’s World Cup Soccer Tournament in Australia and New Zealand, won their third round league match (March 31) 4-0 against the Spanish women’s national team (ranked 6th in the world), who had not won in their previous four matches. The match was broadcast live on NHK General TV.

The match was broadcast live on NHK Sogo TV, and the viewer rating was 6.4% per household (*from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the second half of the match, according to Video Research, Kanto region). During the same time period, commercial broadcasters were competing with the evening news, with viewership ranging from 3-6%. The ratings for the same time slot on the day Nadeshiko Japan was televised remained the same, indicating that Nadeshiko Japan was unable to pose a “threat” to the other stations and ended up losing out in the viewer ratings. Why is it that the domestic excitement for the Women’s World Cup has been so lackluster, despite the fact that the team overturned pre-war rumors about the world’s most prestigious tournament?

At the quadrennial Women’s World Cup, Japan won all three of its first-round league matches to advance to the final tournament for the fourth consecutive year. With 11 goals in all three games and three consecutive shutouts, the scoreline shows that Japan is in a class of its own.

Nadeshiko Japan coach Futoshi Ikeda was proud of his team, saying, “For the players, this kind of win gives them confidence.

In contrast, those in charge of broadcasting the games on TV stations were filled with a sense of crisis. The decision for a Japanese broadcaster had not been made until just before the tournament, and a week before the start of the tournament, it was hastily decided that NHK would broadcast the Japan matches live. The first two matches were broadcast live on the BS channel, and the third match against Spain was broadcast live on Sogo TV. The director in charge of sports at a commercial broadcaster revealed, “The era of TV’s dominance is certainly over.

The era of TV’s monopoly is certainly over, but the numbers (viewer ratings) are still honest and do not lie about what people expect (from the programs). That is why I was disappointed with the numbers for the Nadeshiko (Japan) match against Spain. As a result, it did not reach double digits, and the numbers for the evening news at the same time on other stations were the same as usual.

The July 31 match against Spain began airing at 3:50 PM. Household viewership for the first half of the match was 4.6%, and 6.4% for the second half, not far from double digits.

Incidentally, in the same time slot, NTV’s “news every” was 4.9%-6.4%, TV Asahi’s “Partner Selection” 5.7%, “Super J Channe” 4.8%, TBS-NSTA 3.8%-4.4%, and Fuji Television’s “Live News It! was 2.1% to 2.9%. Although the numbers seem comparable, “It is said that ‘if you broadcast the World Cup, you can get double digits,’ and if we could keep those numbers this time, it would be a material to appeal (Nadeshiko Japan) to the upper management, but since other stations in the same time slot broadcast by NHK did not drop their numbers, it is difficult to make an appeal, It is difficult to appeal to them,” he said.

Television operators consider the viewing environment at the time, especially the weather, to be an important factor. The Spanish match was held during the summer vacation period, and the temperature in most parts of the country was over 30 degrees Celsius, which was a tailwind for TV viewing. This is why the figures were viewed so harshly.

Incidentally, NHK broadcasts live sumo on odd-numbered months during this time slot, and usually records double-digit percentages (10%) or more for the first day and the last day of the tournament. Since the Spanish match was held on a weekday, a simple comparison cannot be made, but an official of another commercial broadcaster revealed, “On Sundays when there is a Grand Sumo Tournament, the percentage is over 10%.

On Sundays during the month of sumo, NTV’s long-running program “Laughing Point,” which is aired in the so-called “back” of the month, is also eaten up by sumo numbers. We were not looking for that much, but with these numbers (for Nadeshiko Japan’s match against Spain), I don’t think there will be any information programs, mainly wide-show programs, that will cover Nadeshiko Japan. In fact, our station has been forced to forego coverage of Nadeshiko Japan in its information programs.

The moment Nadeshiko Japan won the 2011 Women’s World Cup. Honoki Sawa, who has played a central role in Nadeshiko Japan’s success since the team did not see the light of day, holds up the cup. On the far left is the talented and successful Keirina Maruyama. Third from the right is Saki Kumagai, the captain of this year’s team (photo: Kyodo News).

No buzz because there are no players who stand out as characters.

It is safe to say that none of the sports and information programs on commercial TV stations are featuring Nadeshiko Japan, which continues to struggle. Why is this? A person involved with a commercial broadcaster stated, “The presence of Shohei Otani is the main reason.

Shohei Otani is one of the reasons. Every station broadcasts Otani’s movements in their morning, noon, and evening news programs, and they always have a “slot” for him in their information programs every day. Even though almost the same footage is shown over and over again, in Ohtani’s case, the numbers do not drop.

The buzz around the WBC champion Samurai Japan was generated by the coverage of the tournament on daytime wide shows and other programs right before the tournament began, which helped to spread information to an age group that normally does not watch baseball, and contributed to the excitement of the tournament. Unfortunately, however, there is no sign of this happening with Nadeshiko Japan this time.

In the 2011 World Cup, Nadeshiko Japan became the world’s top team by defeating Germany in the quarterfinals by extra time, Sweden in the semifinals, and the world’s strongest team, the United States, in the finals after a fierce battle of extra time and penalty kicks.

Sawa Honoki, who was a key player at the time, inspired her teammates by saying, “Whenever you feel hardship, look at my back! and inspired her fellow teammates. The tournament was held only three months after the Great East Japan Earthquake, and her message had a strong impact, as it was seen as support for the Japanese people as they struggled to recover from the disaster. The team was a “cackle group” of many personalities, including Aya Miyama, who kicked with unparalleled accuracy, and Keirina Maruyama, who is now active as a mama-san TV personality.

Norio Sasaki, the JFA women’s committee chairperson, was also in charge of the team, and he kept the team together with his father’s jokes. A journalist who covered Nadeshiko Japan at the time said, “Mr. Sasaki was the one who led the Nadeshiko team.

The team that won the world championship in 2011 had no shortage of material. They had the power to communicate.”

Saki Kumagai, the center back of the world’s top-ranked team and the team’s captain this time as well, is most keenly aware of this.

She said that if the team does not achieve a top eight finish or better in this tournament, they will not be noticed in Japan, and I think that is exactly right,” said the reporter in charge of the team.

Kumagai said , “We have to make the girls playing soccer in Japan want to join Nadeshiko. (We have to be aware that if we lose (in the final tournament), we will have to return home.

If they should lose their match against Norway, they will have to return to Japan, and if they fail to do so, the Japanese women’s soccer world will enter a long tunnel. On the other hand, if they beat Norway, they will have to face the winner of the match between Sweden (ranked No. 3 in the world) and the United States (No. 1 in the world). Perhaps what is supporting Nadeshiko Japan’s breakthrough is a sense of crisis, as indicated by Captain Kumagai’s comment.

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