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Gendai: Fuji TV not to renew PRIDE TV deal?

By Zach Arnold | May 28, 2006

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By Zach Arnold

As noted yesterday on the message board, Shukan Gendai came out with a page article in this week’s magazine, proclaiming that their campaign against DSE for being an alleged yakuza group is showing some effects. They claim that the TV deal between DSE/PRIDE & Fuji TV is up in September, and that it is providing Fuji TV with a chance to back out of the situation.

Addendum: Whaledog’s reaction. The Morishita angle to the story is one that many Japanese smart marks have paid close attention to. I’m having flashbacks.

Article Summary

The impact of our series of articles: “Fuji will cut its relations with PRIDE in September” is under consideration

Shukan Gendai has been reporting on the fact that PRIDE is owned by the yakuza, and that despite knowing this, Fuji TV has continued to exclusively broadcast PRIDE events.

Sakakibara, the front man for the yakuza company Dream Stage Entertainment, has been saying the following: “Shukan Gendai’s attacks are weakening. This is because I have made a complaint about them to the police. Gendai’s people have contacted me and told me that there will be no more articles.”

Of course, we have not said any such things and we have no intention on weakening our attacks.

On the other hand, Sakakibara has a lot of trouble coming for him.

According to a comment from a Fuji TV insider, “The broadcast contract between Fuji TV and DSE expires in September. Within Fuji TV, there is a proposal to use this as a reason to cut ties with DSE. In fact, one of the Fuji TV directors has said that the Shukan Gendai campaign should be used by Fuji TV as a reason to clean the relations with the yakuza. It is also said that if Shukan Gendai continues its campaign that Fuji TV will have no choice but to stop PRIDE broadcasts.”

The person responsible for PRIDE broadcasts in Fuji TV is producer Mr. A (Kunio Kiyohara). Mr. A has very good relations with Sakakibara, and we have criticized Mr. A as well.

According to an employee at the company who produces the PRIDE TV programs, “Mr. A is walking around pretending that nothing is going on, but within the company he has been totally isolated. If Mr. A has to leave the company, then of course the PRIDE broadcast will be terminated.”

According to Fuji TV’s PR department, “Fuji TV is not considering stopping the broadcasts of PRIDE events.”

On April 2, 2006, Sakakibara proudly announced that he was having a competition between Fuji TV & Nippon TV about which one of them would be broadcasting Bushido on golden time, and that he would make an announcement within a week. However, two months have passed and we haven’t heard anything further on this.

Photo (of Sakakibara from SRS TV) with the caption: “President Sakakibara of DSE, the front man for boryokudan (yakuza violence group)”

Topics: All Topics, Japan, Media, MMA, PRIDE, Yakuza, Zach Arnold | 6 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

6 Responses to “Gendai: Fuji TV not to renew PRIDE TV deal?”

  1. whaledog says:

    Interesting. This talk of Yakuza made me think about the speculations that surrounded the ‘suicide’ of DSE president Naoto Morishita. The suspicous suicide looks even more suspicous if Morishita worked for the Yakuza.

  2. no holds barred says:

    many people in japan believe that dse is a yakuza company but also that k1 is the same

    if dse is a yakuza front, how can they do business in the US? arent the FBI interested in the yakuza invading america?

  3. Zach Arnold says:

    [many people in japan believe that dse is a yakuza company but also that k1 is the same]

    It has been noted before that K-1 has had their own problems. However, one item not really noted a lot in the English press is that Soka Gakkai, the very powerful religious Buddhist group in Japan (that has serious control over the entertainment industry there — that is not a judgment or anti-Soka statement, it is what it is), has some influence in K-1. A few of the Japanese tabloids have touched upon this, but nobody really has made a serious effort to talk about the relationship because of how powerful the people involved are.

    [if dse is a yakuza front, how can they do business in the US?]

    Well, let’s look at how business is done in the US. In the case of DSE, you have Kanda & Yamamoto (as I noted in “the biochemists” post a few days ago) who basically operate on their own, and hence whenever background checks are done (such as by the Nevada State Highway Patrol or the FBI), the checks are done on them – not on Sakakibara or others. When Yamamoto got licensed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, they didn’t do the background checks – the Highway Patrol and the FBI did.

    Now, should the anti-yakuza task force in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police department or the Kanagawa Police make the claim that DSE is a yakuza company, then things change in a hurry. Until the police make direct accusations against DSE, there’s nothing that can or will be done against the said party.

  4. James says:

    I really hope they renew the deal…

  5. […] 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. […]

  6. Fred says:

    “This talk of Yakuza made me think about the speculations that surrounded the ’suicide’ of DSE president Naoto Morishita. The suspicous suicide looks even more suspicous if Morishita worked for the Yakuza” Whaledog

    I think it would actually look more suspicious of Morishita didn’t work for the yakuza. It would be another hostle take over. Otherwise, it would be internal house cleaning by just another organized crime group.


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