13 June, 2006

FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 - Japan 1st Match

Woohoo, the worldly festival FIFA World Cup 2006 has finally begun!
I don’t know how big of an event it is in other countries, but I’m sure for those living in cultures where soccer is a national obsession you can’t concentrate on studies and works for the next several weeks! Soccer is becoming bigger and bigger in Japan and I am one of those soccer freaks.

So Japan had its first match yesterday (June 12) against Australia and the result was… just devastating. We were winning for the first 84 minutes by 1-0 but wow, how could Australia just throw in THREE points in the last TEN minutes!? Well the only successful shot by Japan was no means magnificent… it appeared rather like a lucky accident to me which NAKAMURA’s supposedly a pass kind of rolled across the goal line. There weren’t many shots attempted in the first place and most of them lacked decisive power…not to mention the fact that Japan never really had enough strong decisiveness :P

What surprised me the most was the audience share of the match last night (it was on air 22:00-24:00). It was aired on NHK (kind of like a national broadcasting center) and they say that the average share was 49%, with the highest going above 62%! So I guess that means 2/3 of the Japanese people had their TVs switched on NHK at one point and more or less half of the population was watching the match on average.
And these rates only reflect those of terrestrial broadcasting which means that if you count satellite and cable, the percentage goes higher!
Surprising it is, although it’s not the highest. The average viewership for Japan - Russia in the last World Cup Korea Japan 4 years back went beyond 60%. I wonder what it’s going to be like for the following matches against Croatia and Brazil :-)

Of course I was one of those glued to the TV screen last night, but as a matter of fact, I’m more of a fan for France rather than Japan so I’m more excited about the match today between France and Switzerland!! I sure hope they won’t fall off the preliminaries like the last time…Go for it France!
And congrats to the Aussies for the first ever win in FIFA WC :-D

Oops, almost forgot that my essays are supposed to focus on Japan :P

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