TOKYO — Broadcasts of sumo, Japan ancient national sport, will be coming to Africa for the first time, announced

Tokyo-based program distrib Total Sports Asia on Monday.

In partnership with UK distrib Queensbury Media, Total Sports Asia has placed 30 hours of sumo coverage with Pan-

African satellite channel GTV. 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

explained. The footage will be sourced from pubcaster NHK.  

GTV serves about 15 countries in sub-Sahara Africa, where sumo is little known. The sport, however, has become

heavily internationalized in recent years, with 13 of the 40 wrestlers in the top division being foreigners, including the

two current grand champions — both Mongolians. Perhaps the GTV broadcasts will inspire the same sort of ambition

that led lads from Mongolia, Estonia and Georgia to join the sumo ranks.