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Thursday trash talk: K-1 GP TV ratings down from past years

By Zach Arnold | October 3, 2007

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Dave Meltzer at Fox Sports asks if Michael Bisping is a big-enough name to headline a UFC show in Newark, New Jersey. Rashad Evans has comments about his upcoming fight in The Newark Star-Ledger. Take a look at the ticket prices UFC is asking for at the event.

Adam Morgan shares the same sentiments as I do about this season’s version of The Ultimate Fighter. Last night’s show was absolutely painful to watch. Just brutal television. As brutal as the commercials for that awful “Manswers” show. Mac Danzig talks about the latest episode. Matt Hughes weighs in.

Alabama’s attorney general says cage fighting is legal.

The K-1 9/29 Seoul, South Korea show drew an 11.6% rating on Fuji TV. According to NHB News (Japanese), the number is significantly down compared to past September GPs on the network (2004 – 19.6%, 2005 – 18.2%, and 2006 – 16.0%).

Now, onto the ratings for the K-1 World MAX 2007 show. The show drew an 11.8% rating on TBS, according to NHB News. Other World MAX show ratings from this year – 2/5 Japanese tournament (16.4%), 4/4 event (14.0%), 6/28 world tournament (12.0%).

The quick summary is that the ratings are declining for K-1 in Japan. The promotion is running more shows outside the country in order to try boost live show revenue. As with the case when WCW died and vanished from the American pro-wrestling marketplace, nobody in Japan has been able to fill the void in the fight scene since PRIDE’s death. Take WCW for example — during the peak of the Monday Night Wars between that organization and WWE, the companies were pulling in anywhere from 10-12 million viewers. Now, WWE alone is drawing a 3.2-3.4 cable rating. WCW fans left and have not come back because they don’t like WWE’s brand of wrestling. Same case with the PRIDE fans — they still exist, but the fans just aren’t buying into what K-1 and others are selling.

Remember how I said last week that marijuana usage is a big deal in Japan? Well, here’s an example for you. Daily Sports is reporting on a trial involving 40-year old former K-1 fighter Masaaki Miyamoto (who was a trainer & second for Bob Sapp during his K-1 run) for violating Japan’s Cannabis Control Law. During the trial, Miyamoto admitted that he used marijuana to ease muscular pains during training. The prosecutor in the case is asking for an 80,000 yen fine and a 2-year jail sentence. Miyamoto’s attorney is asking for a suspended sentence. The defense story in the trial is that Miyamoto first used marijuana in Holland during a training excursion, but did not use marijuana when he came back home to Japan. The prosecutorial claim against Miyamoto is that he bought marijuana twice in Japan, equaling around 5 grams at a price tag of 30,000 yen from an acquaintance. Last February, Miyamoto was caught speeding (driving his car 44 km/hour) in Okinawa prefecture. Miyamoto apologized to everyone in the courtroom and to K-1 fans for his marijuana usage.

The latest IFL happenings.

There is a new MMA blog at The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Here is the Art of War 4 10/27 Tunica, Mississippi show line-up. Meanwhile, the parent company’s stock continues to tumble downwards.

The Reno Gazette-Journal is reporting that Reno middleweight boxer Joey Gilbert (who also is a promoter in the area) failed an NSAC drug test (six drugs listed).

Kodansha to cancel publication of magazine issue due to big mistake.

Onto today’s headlines.

  1. Sprawl ‘n Brawl: Living in a TUF MMA world
  2. Steve Sievert: Houston’s Todd Moore signs with WEC
  3. MMA on Tap: Hardcore Championship Fighting signs Renato Babalu
  4. The New York Times: ‘Survivor’ meets Ultimate Fighting, with helpful witch doctors on call
  5. Jake Rossen: PRIDE and prejudice
  6. The Los Angeles Daily News: Palmdale’s Daniel McWilliams trades prison for MMA cage
  7. Sports Illustrated: Daniel Puder is balancing the party and fight
  8. MMA Analyst: More events for the non-mainstream fan – Aleksander, HDNet, and Pancrase

Topics: Boxing, Canada, Japan, K-1, Media, MMA, Pancrase, PRIDE, South Korea, StrikeForce, UFC, WEC, Zach Arnold | 14 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

14 Responses to “Thursday trash talk: K-1 GP TV ratings down from past years”

  1. PizzaChef says:

    Hey! I resent that statement of Manswers being “awful”. I learned a lot of things from that show! It’s highly educational!

  2. mdhan says:

    Just found out that the average rating for the GP was 6.671% in Korea. It peaked at 14.047% in the Mighty Mo-Choi fight, and was at 11% during the Sefo-Aerts fight.

    The average for the Crocop-Fedor fight was 6.033%, which shows how successful the GP was considering how it’s over double the rating for the main event of arguably the greatest MMA card ever, but I’m a little surprised at how low it is compared to what’s considered a “flop” in Japan.

  3. Jordan Breen says:

    I draw some issue with the MMA Analyst article since the DEEP card on the weekend is probably a better card than the Pancrase card. Hell, I may even prefer the Shooto card in Nagoya over it.

    Also, of course TUF 6 sucks. Zuffa shows absolutely zero commitment to getting a healthy crop of serious, talented dudes who want to fight for a living for the show. As a result, you end up with Joe Scarola crying and Billy Miles being inept.

    Also, Zach, the ratings you listed above are for the GP finales, if I’m not mistaken. I know last year’s was a 16.0 with a big peak for Aerts-Schilt in the finale. The Seoul card was the final elimination round, the GP finals are in the months coming.

  4. Zach Arnold says:

    Look at the NHB News post again, Jordan:

    19.6% – 9/25/2004 K-1 World GP
    18.2% – 9/23/2005 K-1 World GP
    16.0% – 9/30/2006 K-1 World GP

  5. Jordan Breen says:

    Ah, my bust. I hadn’t seen the NHBNews post, I just recalled that the GP finale last year got a 16.0 even as well.

    Anyway, hardly shocking ratings decline. Choi’s star isn’t exactly what it once was, and the allure of him fighting Mighty Mo in a headliner at this point? Pretty meh stuff for your casual peeps. The MAX finale probably outdrew it, and I suspect they probably did strong ratings throughout since Masato actually made it to the final this year.

  6. Zach Arnold says:

    11.8% apparently for the Masato tournament showing. Barely outdrew the Fuji TV show.

  7. white ninja says:

    the ratings trend in Japan has been a downward trend and this will continue

    if ratings drop into the single figures, k1 could get dropped

  8. LR says:

    The article at MMA Analyst is to supplement the previous article which included the DEEP card. I just didn’t get it all crammed into one posting.

    Actually, I’m a bit more inclined to see the DEEP card as well.

  9. xx2000xx says:

    Sure, 78 doesn’t have a solid main event but the rest of the fights are competitive and very strong on paper. I’d much rather see this than 77.

    My jaw literally hit the floor when I saw this:

    Main Card Bouts:
    -Anderson Silva vs. Rich Franklin
    -Tim Sylvia vs. Brandon Vera
    -Kalib Starnes vs. Alan Belcher
    -Eric Schafer vs. Stephan Bonnar

    The Starnes and Bonnar fight is on the television portion!??!?!

    -Yushin Okami vs. Jason MacDonald
    -Josh Burkman vs. Forrest Petz
    -Jason Black vs. Matt Grice

    Here is hoping that Silva takes him out in the first. Whoever decided to put those fights on the television portion is on drugs, or thinks the TUF kids are bigger draws then they really are.

  10. David says:

    Japanese culture is so interesting. I need to take a Japanese culture sociology class before I graduate from SB

  11. sonzai says:

    I’m just curious if anyone (Zach, Jordan?) can give any info on ratings for other Japanese programs, sports or otherwise. It seems that whenever UFC ratings are discussed, we have some sort of context. How does K-1 do vs. a Kyoujin game, or a Hanshin game? How about a Japanese national soccer team match? The only comparison I have is Kohaku Uta Gassen and that’s just not a fair fight. I know from experience in Japan that I can go into any bar/izakaya/ramen shop/restaurant or even sauna and see any of the aforementioned programs (or dramas, or variety shows), but can never recall seeing a K-1 or PRIDE event outside of my own home.

  12. 45 Huddle says:


    Don’t always go by what says. A lot of the times certain fights will say they are a prelim and then end up being on the main card. UFC 77 is going to look like this:

    Anderson Silva vs. Rich Franklin
    Tim Sylvia vs. Brandon Vera
    Yushin Okami vs. Jason MacDonald
    Kalib Starnes vs. Alan Belcher
    Stephan Bonnar vs. Eric Schafer

    Jorge Gurgel vs. Alvin Robinson
    Josh Burkman vs. Forrest Petz
    Jason Black vs. Matt Grice
    Ryan Jenson vs. Demian Maia

    Now that main card is pretty solid. The Top 3 fights are very good, and the two undercard fights should at least be exciting….

    UFC 78 at this time… Well, that is a different story.

  13. topjournalist says:

    There has never been a final sixteen outside of Japan, so it is hard to compare the numbers.
    It might not even that bad the vieuwing rate (compared with UFC broadcasting live from England to the USA).

  14. […] K1 ma coraz mniejsz? ogl?dalno??: […]


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