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Sumo Wrestling comes to America on NHK World TV

Just another example of how content from all over the world has a market here in the U.S.

NHK WORLD TV, Japan’s English language channel, is excited to announce its partnership with PBS Charlotte (WTVI) based in Charlotte, North Carolina. PBS Charlotte joins New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle as NHK WORLD TV partners in distributing its Japanese lifestyle and news programming.

Sumo wrestling and a Japanese television channel taking hold in Charlotte? You bet!

NHK WORLD TV is a 24/7 English language public network featuring original television programming from NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation). NHK WORLD TV, in HD, delivers a unique and diverse blend of programming featuring hourly live international news from Tokyo and news bureaus around the globe and programs on Japanese society, politics, scientific advancement, culture, history, food and lifestyle. And now also Sumo in a highlight package that can't be missed. True Southerners love wrestling, but Japan's national sports brings something new, traditional and unique to the table.

“We are delighted about this partnership with PBS Charlotte and are very excited to be a part of the Charlotte community,” said Mr. Yoshihiko Shimizu, President and CEO of JIB (Japan International Broadcasting Inc.), a subsidiary of NHK. “PBS Charlotte provides a unique outlet for viewers to be educated, inspired and entertained. This partnership allows the Charlotte community to gain a worldly perspective on Japanese and Asian culture and news.”

From its start in 1965, WTVI PBS Charlotte has served citizens in Mecklenburg and twelve surrounding counties for over 50 years. It is the only PBS station licensed and based in the Charlotte region. The station offers high quality, noncommercial, educational programs and services that range from award-winning children’s programming and groundbreaking documentaries to original performances and informative local public service programs.

"PBS Charlotte is thrilled to be part of the NHK WORLD family and we are thrilled to bring its diverse programming to our Charlotte community which encompasses over 1.1 million households in 13 counties," said Amy Burkett, general manager of PBS Charlotte. "PBS Charlotte strives to expand its viewer’s options and this partnership accomplishes that goal."

Sumo is one of those sports you just can't take your eyes off of, but there is more than meets the eye.

"It's going to be a learning experience for many Americans," states Jay Campbell, President of CAV International and U.S. representative for NHK World TV. "We'll take people through the entire sport, from the rules to the traditions to results."

"There is an announcer that is perfectly fluent in English," says Nanao Akanuma, Manager of USA Distribution for JIB, the NHK subsidiary. NHK World TV is a 24 hour Japanese channel in English, so Americans won't have to worry about not understanding the language.

Those tuning into the Sumo program will get an appreciation for the sport and be entertained in the process. NHK World TV is growing its footprint in America and it's good to see Sumo being part of it.

For more, see my "Tech of Sports" podcast on this very subject. Link here.

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