We begin a discussion on an issue making the headlines.
South Korean sports have been at the center of global attention as its baseball and football leagues were among the world's first professional sports leagues to return last week amid the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. sports giant ESPN acquired exclusive broadcast rights to South Korea's national baseball league. Some 36 countries sought out media-rights deals with Korea's football league ahead of the opening weekend. It provided some comfort and a sense of returning to normalcy for sports fans everywhere. To discuss what Korean sports has to offer and what fans will have to get used to in this new normal of empty stadiums, joining me today, we have
Dan Kurtz, a U.S. based KBO expert who created MyKBO.net and KIM Taeryung, Director of Fitogether, a data-based football management company.
Both: It’s been a week since both sports leagues kicked off and enjoyed a rare global audience. How have they been received so far overseas? -- and what did you make of the response?
Both: How do you think the games have been handled so far, in terms of health and safety -- and do you think this model could be replicated in other countries?
: Players also have to stop themselves from high-fiving or talking to each other. Did you sense any awkwardness among the players?
Dan: The strange silence is one baseball players and the fans will have to get used to. Do you think empty stadiums affect the players’ performance?
: The Bundesliga, Germany’s professional soccer league, is set to restart this week. There's also the possibility of the English Premier League returning next month. Many say attention on the K-League will eventually fizzle out for international football fans. What do you think about that? What can they do to retain global interest?
Both: In addition to K-pop and K-culture, how do you think South Korean sports can keep the momentum going and be a part of the new Korean wave?
It's been a wonderful discussion. Thank you both for joining the program today. Dan Kurtz founder of MyKBO.net and KIM Taeryung, Director of Fitogether.
(Seoul, S. Korea)