Eurosport 2, Maori TV, and Rogers Sportsnet to deliver medal games

Plant City, Florida (USA); 29th July 2009: Another facet of the BackSoftball blueprint is being highlighted as international networks have come onboard to carry telecasts of the medal games from the International Softball Federation’s XII Men’s World Championship that has just been played in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (Canada).

The announcement comes just one week after the conclusion of the World Cup of Softball 4 tournament from which the ESPN family of networks televised seven games to 146 countries and since the two medal games of the softball competition at the World Games in Taiwan were broadcast on TV as well.

Eurosport 2 will show the Men’s World Championship’s gold medal game to 46 countries throughout Europe plus twelve more in the Asia/Pacific region. In addition, the game will be simulcast on mobile devices. Maori Television in New Zealand will carry both the bronze and gold medal games. Rogers Sportsnet will also be showing both medal games throughout Canada.

All three of these networks’ telecasts will be on a tape-delay basis and scheduling is being done to provide multiple airings, with the first airing to take place today when Rogers shows the bronze medal game between Canada and New Zealand.

“As part of our BackSoftball campaign blueprint we have said that we would work to achieve greater television coverage for our sport around the world,” said ISF President Don Porter. “Through the cooperation and dedication of these networks that will be highlighting our marquee men’s event, plus the others that have just recently shown women’s competitions, we are significantly accomplishing exactly that.

“We appreciate their support, which is allowing well over 50 million people around the world to be exposed to our sport, in at least eleven different languages.”

Mathieu Lozar, Head of Eurosport 2 programming, said, “We are delighted to broadcast the Men’s Softball World Championship gold medal game on Eurosport 2 and Eurosport Asia-Pacific this year. Softball joins a growing list of exciting team sports, such as lacrosse, basketball, and volleyball, on Eurosport 2, and coverage of this final demonstrates our commitment to bringing European viewers the best in sporting action.”

“Rogers Sportsnet is thrilled to add the ISF XII Men’s World Championships to our lineup,” said Dave Akande, Vice-President, Content, Rogers Sportsnet. “It affords us the opportunity to offer international softball to our audience.”

“We are proud to be broadcasters of this year’s World Softball Championship held in Saskatoon, Canada,” said Maori Television Head of Programming Eruera Morgan. “Softball has been an integral part of our sports schedule for the last two years and to have this year’s world championships on our screen will definitely magnify our coverage of the sport.

“We have supported softball like no other broadcaster in the world has, because of our continuous success rate and high Maori participation in the sport at all levels.”

Maori Television is also having a one-hour documentary produced for them to air about the New Zealand Black Sox. That country’s national team had gone to Saskatoon as the defending ISF men’s world champions.

Softball was first featured in the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996 and last year’s competition in Beijing was very successful with a total attendance close to 180,000 and a continuation of the sport’s excellent record of no positive doping tests at any of the four Summer Olympics that the sport has been a part of.

A final decision on which sports will be added to the current roster of 26 at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games will be made at the 121st IOC Session in Copenhagen in October this year. The ISF has included a proposal for men’s fast pitch softball to be included in the Games as well.

Further information is available in the OTHER DOCUMENTS section of www.BackSoftball.com

For more information please contact ISF Director of Communications Bruce Wawrzyniak at brucew@internationalsoftball.com, +1 813 864 0100 or +1 813 453 8762 or David Alexander at David.Alexander@Calacus.com or +44 7802 412424.