“I reflected a lot on myself after watching women’s basketball, baseball’s popularity crisis.” In the era of paid KBO broadcasting, players’ sense of responsibility has also increased

KBS N Sports commentator Park Yong-taek (45), whose uniform number 33 was permanently replaced by the LG Twins and was also selected as a legend of the KBO League 40, attended the 2024 KBO Rookie Orientation Training held at the Daejeon Convention Center on the 9th and reiterated the importance of fan service to 132 freshmen as professional players.헤라카지노도메인

Park, who has been famous for his special fan service since he was an active player, said, “The most important thing as a professional baseball player is a fan. I went to the Women’s Professional Basketball All-Star Game two days ago, and it was surprising, and I reflected a lot,” he said, expressing his thoughts on visiting the site of the WKBL All-Star Game held in Asan, Chungcheongnam-do on the 7th.

“Each and every player was introduced, and they danced as if they had practiced a lot with the music on a round stage. Some players were embarrassed and had a hard time, but none of them did it. It was a fan service for the fans to save the women’s professional basketball league,” Park recalled. “Even the coaches wore uniforms and joined the players. When the dynamic duo was singing, I got goosebumps to see them all creating a festive mood. The more I watched, the more I started to reflect on myself.”

The KBO League, which attracted more than 8 million spectators (8,103,326) last year for the first time in five years, reaffirmed that it is the most popular sport in Korea. Despite a series of unfavorable factors, the strong KBO League fan base did not easily collapse. The number of younger generation fans who enjoy baseball stadium cheering culture has also increased, but popularity will not last long unless new fans continue to flow in.

Park said, “You may have heard KBO President Heo Koo-yeon say that Korean baseball is not good right now, and it is a crisis. In fact, it is a crisis. The influx of new baseball fans is not going well. There are many fans who used to like baseball. New fans should continue to flow in, but it is quite slow,” adding, “It is a program that elders watch, not a program that very hot young people watch recently. You are the ones who can change those things,” he ordered new players to have a greater professional consciousness and engage in more active fan service.

Players’ roles and responsibilities have also become important as the era of online broadcasting of the KBO League is approaching. KBO announced on the 9th that it has selected CJ ENM as the preferred bidder for the KBO League’s wired and wireless (new media) broadcasting business between 2024 and 2026. CJ ENM reportedly offered more than 40 billion won per year. It is a large amount, twice the five-year total of 110 billion won (annual average of 22 billion won) signed with the consortium of telecommunications and portals in February 2019.

If negotiations are finalized and broadcasting rights are not resold, the KBO League should be viewed only through CJ ENM’s online video service (OTT) platform “TVING” on PCs and mobile devices in the future. As it is a paid subscription service, fans should open their wallets. Until now, baseball fans have been accustomed to enjoying live KBO League broadcasts online for free through major portal sites and telecommunication service providers.

Although it is a consumption trend in the modern era to enjoy contents by paying reasonable amount of money, a sudden change can arouse resistance and resistance from fans. Although KBO can induce free broadcasting in the final negotiations by banking on “universal viewing rights,” chances are high that it will make a difference in the quality and the way in which services such as contents are provided between free and paid subscribers. Either way, fans’ viewing rights will likely be restricted.

CJ ENM was highly praised for its scalability, allowing all videos except live broadcasting to be used on other platforms. It is expected to have a great effect in drawing interest from the younger generation through the ‘shorts’ videos and secondary creations that are trending these days. However, given that the life of sports is ‘live’, barriers to entry for paid broadcasting are not easy. An increasing number of single-person households without TVs are becoming more and more uncomfortable for existing senior fans. Starting with new media, the possibility that TV broadcasting rights will be converted into paid broadcasting rights in the future cannot be ruled out.

Now is an era when people have to pay to watch baseball games at home even if they don’t have to go to the stadium. To do so, the quality and value of the league must be much higher than now. In the eyes of fans, the team should display what it sees as a waste of money. This has increased the sense of responsibility of the players. The team should not only sharpen their skills but also provide fans with more active fan service and exemplary attitude to promote themselves.

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