The official broadcasting rights of the WBSC Men's Softball World Cup 2022 has gone to Aotearoa's indigenous broadcaster, Whakaata Māori.
Whakaata Māori will live stream all 50 games across nine days, with 192 players from 12 countries due to take part in the event. All games will be available to watch on the MĀORI+ app for those in Aotearoa, while all Black Sox games will be live on television as well.
Not only is Whakaata Māori the first indigenous broadcaster in the world selected to host the Softball World Cup, but, among the four teams' commentators and experts, it will also include reo Māori speakers to fuse together the language with live games.
Argentina are the defending champions, with the world cup hitting the diamond on November 26 through to December 4.
Tāhuhu rangapū Shane Taurima said having both Softball NZ and the World Baseball Softball Confederation's support was groundbreaking.
“Our live broadcasts will be made available to the world federation for international fans and audiences.
"Whakaata Māori is honoured to bring our taonga of culture and language to the diamond,” Taurima said.
Softball NZ chief executive Tony Giles said the partnership with Whakaata Māori meant the country could give the world the most unique World Cup experience in its history.
"We have a chance to build our game nationwide as well as promote what makes us unique as a nation on a global stage. This has been an exciting collaboration from the start, ensuring every Black Sox game will be free to air on every television screen across the country,” Giles said.
The most successful country in the event's 57-year history is New Zealand, which has seven world titles and 13 medals to its name. On Tuesday, October 25, Te Ao Tapatahi, the midday news programme for Whakaata Māori, will broadcast a live announcement of the Black Sox national team.
Coverage begins at noon on Saturday, November 26 with the opening ceremony from Rosedale Park on Auckland’s North Shore, followed by the opening game between New Zealand and the Czech Republic, starting at 1.30pm.