Sumo pumps African broadcasts

Total Sports Asia sells sport to GTV

TOKYO — Total Sports Asia has sold 30 hours of sumo wrestling to Pan-African satellite channel GTV in partnership with the U.K.’s Queensbury Media.

This works out to about five hours for each of the six professional sumo tournaments held annually, though a Total Sports Asia spokeswoman said that coverage may vary from tournament to tournament.

“In general, the broadcasts will be from the first two days and the last three days of the (15-day) tournament,” she said. The footage will come from Japanese pubcaster NHK.  

 GTV serves about 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, where sumo is little known. The sport has become heavily internationalized in recent years, with foreigners comprising 13 of the 40 wrestlers in the top division, including the two current grand champions — both Mongolians.

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