Hawai'i Bowl will be shown in Japan
This year's Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl will be televised in Japan on a delayed basis, a first for the event, organizers announced today.
The game, which will feature the University of Hawai'i as long as the Warriors win the necessary seven games to be bowl eligible, will be played on Christmas Day at Aloha Stadium.
ESPN Regional Television (ERT), which owns and operates the game, will again show the game on its ESPN network where 2.1 million households watched it in this country. In addition, the game will be shown in Japan on the Sports-i-ESPN network, which reaches approximately 3.2 million households, according to Chuck Gerber, executive vice president and general manager of ERT.
"It has long been a goal of June (Jones) and the university to get some exposure in Japan, and I think this is great for the whole state," said Jim Donovan, executive director of the bowl. "Certainly, it is a big positive for Sheraton, our title sponsor, and the event itself as a whole."
Jones has said he would like to recruit some players from Japan and try and build a following for UH games there.
"I'm delighted," said Ernie Nishizaki, executive vice president of Kyo-ya, which operates five Waikiki hotels under the Sheraton banner. Nishizaki said visitors from Japan account for approximately 35 percent to 40 percent of the guests at the company's Waikiki properties. "Anything that promotes Hawai'i is beneficial."
An exact date and time for the showing in Japan were not announced, but plans call for it to be within two to three days of the original game.
The game is contracted to match a representative from the Western Athletic Conference and a team from Conference USA.