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Ryota Murata shatters Fuji TV fight ratings with monstrous 20.5%, creating “Top of Top” plan vs. Golovkin

By Zach Arnold | October 24, 2017

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Bob Arum’s big bet with new WBA Middleweight champion Ryota Murata is drawing enormous PRIDE-level Japanese television ratings for Fuji TV.

Fuji Boxing, which produced the Ryogoku Kokugikan telecast for the Hassan N’Dam/Ryota Murata re-match on Sunday, experienced incredible television ratings. According to Video Research, the Fuji Boxing broadcast drew an overall 20.5% rating (22.7% in Kansai area) with a peak rating at 9:04 PM JST of 26.7% (29.4% in Kansai).

The Murata/N’Dam fight drew the highest overall rating for a Fuji TV boxing broadcast in 17 years. 8,500 paid was the sellout attendance at Ryogoku. In regrettable contrast, Disney aired the fight live in America on ESPN2 but gave zero promotion for the bout.

Business for Sunday’s fight was so big that NHK has reportedly offered Ryota Murata a role on their New Year’s Eve mega Red & White Musical Festival show.

The next step

The new marketing pitch for Murata in the Japanese press is a Top of Top mega showdown with Gennady Golovkin in the next couple of years. It is predictable that many business forces will want such a big fight for Las Vegas. That wisdom can and will be challenged with the benchmarks Ryota Murata and his promoters Akihiko Honda (Teiken Promotions) & Bob Arum (Top Rank) are reaching in the Japanese marketplace.

Golovkin can draw 40,000+ versus Murata in Japan. It will be much bigger at the arena/stadium than in Las Vegas. If a fight happens between Murata and Golovkin, it should happen in Japan. There is plenty of money to be made. Between Fuji TV rights fees, a rights fee for a building like Saitama Super Arena or the Tokyo Dome, and gigantic Asian sponsors/money marks willing to pay top dollar to get involved, there is every reason to believe that a Murata/Golovkin fight could generate a similar level of business as Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez accomplished in September.

What Bob Arum did right in Japan and what UFC did wrong

Bob Arum’s big bet on Ryota Murata exposed UFC’s struggles in winning over Japanese fans. Why? Because Bob Arum played by the traditional, tried-and-true ground rules a major fight promoter is required to follow to build a Japanese ace and draw significant cash in a world class combat sports market.

What are the golden rules to win big in Japan? A friendly reminder:

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out the formula that works to score big in the Japanese marketplace. UFC had 10 years to make it happen and they failed. Their interest in going all-out has declined in each successive show. Octogenarian Bob Arum played by the ground rules and struck it rich with Ryota Murata. Everything is gravy right now.

Topics: Boxing, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 1 Comment » | Permalink | Trackback |

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