I’ve suddenly found myself to be a huge soccer fan (yeah I know, only us Yanks — and the Japanese — call it soccer, despite the British English etymological origins of the word), and thus very excited about the upcoming World Cup 2006 in Germany.
I couldn’t care less that the US is in it, nor for that matter Japan, although given that I view both as underdogs, I’ll probably be rooting for them (as I will be for all the African teams, and tiny Trinidad and Tobago). I just want to watch the matches, and as many of them as I can. Fortunately I have access to the two NHK satellite channels, including the high-def BShi (which even on the cheap analog that I have looks amazing), as they will be showing all games live. Not only that, but because of the time difference between here and Germany, all games will be on TV after I come home from work (most games will be shown at 10pm, 1am, or 4am), which was not the case in 2002. Granted, some of these games are at 4 a.m., but still. Not sure what the sub-channel audio situation will be, though in 2002 many if not most broadcasts featured English on the second audio channel, so I’m crossing my fingers for that.
Mind you, I’ll listen to the Japanese, it’s not a problem, though if Japanese is the only option for the matches featuring Team Japan, I’ll probably employ the mute button — there are few worse things to listen to than completely biased Japanese commentators (except of course, completely biased American commentators!).
At any rate, mostly for myself, I’ve compiled a TV guide of the Group Stage matches as they are shown here in Japan. I’ve uploaded it (excuse the down and dirty html site) in case there are others living here in Japan who might find it useful:
It’s only the Group Stage matches at this point (in brief, there are 8 groups of 4 teams each, teams play other teams in their group, the top two teams advance to the final 16). I will probably create a second guide for the “knockout stages” later when those teams are determined.
UPDATE (June 7, 2006): I’ve added a broadcast schedule of “Daily Highlights” and “Weekly Highlights” programs.
UPDATE (June 23, 2006): I’ve now added the Japan TV broadcast schedule for the Knockout Stage which begins Saturday night (technically Sunday morning at 12:00 a.m.). Not all the names are filled in of course, but I’ll update it as we go along.