With an ironclad defense, a counterattack that flows like liquid mercury and finishing as sharp as an assassin’s blade, Nadeshiko Japan has become the talk of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup after demolishing four successive opponents to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2015.

But on Saturday evening, any casual viewers who saw clips of Risa Shimizu and Hinata Miyazawa’s superb goals against Norway on social media and tuned in to catch the end of the game on NHK were instead greeted by the evening news, as the climax to the 3-1 win in Wellington had been shifted to the national broadcaster’s secondary educational channel.

The round-of-16 clash is hardly the first high-profile sporting event to fall victim to Japanese broadcasters’ fanatical devotion to their to-the-minute timetables, even in the face of viewer demand and common sense.