Did Japanese watch their baseball team beating Korea on mobile “websites”?

UPDATE: Could have been “a special WBC page set up on the Asahi shimbun’s web site”. Thanks to commenter ST

In an otherwise vividly descriptive article on Japan’s World Baseball Classic victory, it seems like the Wall Street Journal reporters may have made a slight error (emphasis mine):

Even workers who couldn’t watch the game live on television kept an eye on the contest. In Tokyo, three Japanese businessmen who were waiting for the subway huddled together staring at a mobile phone screen, tracking every pitch from a Web site.

I am pretty sure they must have been watching “1seg,” a mobile TV signal that’s become fairly common in Japan over the past three years or so. Scenes of strangers watching mobile TV together have become somewhat common in Japan, a sort of modern-day version of businessmen stopping to watch the sample TVs at the Sakuraya in front of Shimbashi Station. During pivotal sports games (Asia Cup soccer, Red Sox in the World Series, etc.), people seem willing to share their mobile TVs with onlookers. Maybe they don’t have much choice unless they want to be a jerk and turn it off, but all the same it’s a new and somewhat rare expression of community with strangers in this city.

(DISCLAIMER: This is not an essentialist statement about Japanese culture! I found Washington DC to be full of similarly detached and unfriendly strangers, as perhaps it should be to a certain extent).

4 thoughts on “Did Japanese watch their baseball team beating Korea on mobile “websites”?”

  1. Definitely a reference to 1seg. The evening news programs yesterday had various scenes of people watching the game on 1seg-equipped mobile phones.

  2. If it were 1seg, they wouldn’t be tracking pitches, they’d be watching the game itself. I was tracking the pitches via a special WBC page set up on the Asahi shimbun’s web site.

  3. I thought the WBC main website itself had a live pitch/play feed one could “watch”, much like the MLB.com live game updates? No video, but it tells you who’s at bat, pitch count, etc. Handy for those situations where bandwith or surroundings don’t permit video watching.

  4. Lots of people in my office were watching the sports.yahoo.co.jp page (auto-updated every 60 seconds, with info on pitch placement and so on). Might have been something like that if it was an older phone, although I agree that 1seg was by far the most common thing for people to be looking at on their phones that day, at least in Kasumigaseki/Shinbashi.

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