This year, the FIVB World Grand Prix celebrates
its 21
anniversary and for the first time in its
history a record 20 teams are lined-up to take
part in this prestigious annual competition for
women. The queens of the court are set to thrill
spectators at tournaments taking place in 15
different countries, as well as millions of fans
watching the action on TV.
Bigger and better than ever
The competition featured only eight teams when it was
established in 1993 and then again between 1995 and
In 1994 and from 2003 to 2010 there were 12
teams that qualified for the World Grand Prix, a number
which increased to 16 for the 2011 and 2012 editions.
This year’s World Grand Prix will include 20 countries
including Algeria, the first ever African team to take part
in the competition. Bulgaria and the Czech Republic will
also make their debut in this year’s competition. The
newcomers bring the total number of countries ever to
have appeared in the competition to 25.
Guaranteed drama and excitement
The FIVB World Grand Prix combines great sport with a
spectacular show every year.
The winners of previous editions of the World Grand
Prix will also be part of this year’s volleyball action.
Included in the line-up of the world’s top teams are
record holders and Olympic champions Brazil (8 titles),
defending champions USA (5), Russia (3), Cuba (2), the
Netherlands (1) and China (1). The USA has won the
last three titles in a row, and will set a new record if it
attains a fourth successive victory.
One team determined to prevent this from happening
is Brazil, who have finished in second position over the
last three years. They are the only team, along with the
USA, to have won the title three times in a row from
to 2006. And for the first time in four years, the
Finals of the FIVB World Grand Prix will return to Japan
a fact that ought to please Olympic champions Brazil,
who have won the tournament the last three times it
has been played there (2005, 2008, 2009).
Of the 20 teams competing for tickets to the Finals,
only hosts Japan and the top five teams from the three-
week preliminary round will qualify for the grand finale
in Sapporo.
Taking the action to the world
CCTV Sports provided spectacular TV coverage last
year’s Finals, which took place in Ningbo (China),
when the USA triumphed with a 3-2 win against Brazil
while Turkey clinched third place to pick up its first ever
The 20
staging of the competition, which boasted a
prize purse of 1.69 million dollars, also saw the closing
of new deals in key markets like Canada, Mexico and
the Indian subcontinent, as well as an increase in the
TV catchment area. In total, 748 million households on
six continents watched the volleyball action, in a year
where the Olympic Games and the European Football
Championship also commanded the attention of sports
fans worldwide.
For the 2012 World Grand Prix, there were 31
international broadcasters transmitting primary footage
of the 87 matches that took place. And in countries
where TV rights were not sold, viewership on the FIVB
Web TV platform soared with the average number of
hits and unique visitors per match increasing by 33 and
percent respectively from the previous year.
Last year world No. 1 USA strengthened their grip on the
tournament, taking their third crown in as many years