Fiscal woes may spike Japan as host of women's world volleyball

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Fiscal woes may spike Japan as host of women's world volleyball

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Fiscal woes may spike Japan as host of women’s world volleyball

By SHINICHI CHUBACHI/ Staff Writer

October 15, 2018 at 15:55 JST

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Photo/IllutrationJapan plays against Serbia in the third round of the Volleyball Women’s World Championship Japan 2018 in Nagoya on Oct. 14. (Shinichi Chubachi)

Japan's glory years of hosting some of the most prestigious events in women's volleyball may soon be over if the entities involved cannot secure the necessary funds.

The country is struggling to secure the revenues to make hosting the Volleyball Women's World Championship financially viable.

Meanwhile, rapidly growing economies such as China and Thailand may be in a better position to hold the event, as the International Volleyball Federation has switched to a competitive bidding system to select a venue, starting from the 2022 competition.

Tokyo Broadcasting System Television Inc., which broadcasts the Volleyball Women's World Championship Japan 2018, will likely lose close to 1 billion yen ($8.9 million) on the event, according to sources.

The company pays the volleyball federation, also known as the FIVB, more than 2 billion yen, including broadcasting and marketing rights fees.

The main reason for the shortfall is that TBS, which co-sponsors, was unable to secure sufficient commercial revenue, as businesses have reined in spending on commercials.

The Japan Volleyball Association is also expected to post a loss--about 600 million yen, owing to poor ticket sales.

The venue for the Volleyball World Championship, which takes place every four years, is decided through talks between the FIVB and volleyball associations of individual countries.

Women’s volleyball has been popular in Japan in past decades, with the country hosting four of six championship events since 1998.

The FIVB has relied on Japan in recent years for the broadcasting rights fees.

The adoption of a competitive bidding system for selecting a host is aimed at making the championship more lucrative.

As a result, it will be important for prospective countries to present proposals showing how commercially successful they can make the event.

The bid for the 2022 championship closed in September. While Japan submitted a proposal to host women's volleyball, TBS and the Japan Volleyball Association had a difficult time agreeing on fees and other figures mentioned in their hosting plan for the federation.

Japan is also likely to face difficultly vying to host the sport's World Cup, also held every four years and governed by the FIVB.

The country will host World Cup 2019 for the 12th time in a row since 1977. However, competitive bidding will also be introduced for prospective hosts, starting in World Cup 2023.

"We will consider a new business model in hosting international volleyball events, as we cannot enter the hosting race if we always expect revenue losses," said a Japan Volleyball Association senior official.

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