By Zach Arnold | June 5, 2006
Bottom Japanese headline on Yahoo Japan HP: Fuji cancels PRIDE
By Zach Arnold
Update I: The PRIDE page on the Fuji TV official web site has been removed and deleted.
Japanese blogger(s) covering the story: Technorati (list of writers) | Burning Spirit (and here) | Swimming Eye (Tetsuya Sano) | Angle-Japan | Gryphon | NHBnews PRO | Black Eye 2 | Idolizing St. Anna (English)
Mainichi Shimbun in Japan reports that Fuji TV has cancelled PRIDE from their network. The contract is immediately cancelled. Fuji TV’s PR department in the article is quoted as saying that PRIDE breached the contract with Fuji TV (the yakuza scandal would be the likely guess — as Shukan Gendai noted last week), but they cannot say directly what it is. (For a refresher course on the yakuza scandal, use this link).
This Yomiuri Hochi report states that Fuji TV’s PR department claimed that PRIDE committed an “improper event” and that after consulting with their lawyers, they annuled the contract with DSE. Both the Nikkei & Kyodo news wires have articles on the story as well. The Yomiuri article mentions the past arrests of three yakuza men related to Seiya Kawamata, and the Nikkei article mentions in passing that “a weekly magazine” (Shukan Gendai) had an article series about the alleged yakuza influence in PRIDE.
The Japanese message boards (such as 2ch) are going crazy over this news. Reality is setting in now that PRIDE could be in major trouble. If the Japanese Yahoo link doesn’t work, use this direct Mainichi Japanese article link.