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The Ultimate Fighter reality show to air on WOWOW in Japan

By Zach Arnold | August 14, 2009

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It starts this October, airing every Tuesday at Midnight.

As far as the platform is concerned, WOWOW is not a strong television network to be on. WOWOW is the network that Akira Maeda put RINGS on during the 90s and when Maeda had the chance to have his retirement match against Aleksandr Karelin on a big TV station, he stayed with WOWOW and the end result was that RINGS died shortly after Maeda’s retirement because the pay-TV platform simply didn’t give the promotion enough money to make it work.

Topics: Japan, Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 11 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

11 Responses to “The Ultimate Fighter reality show to air on WOWOW in Japan”

  1. PizzaChef says:

    Isn’t WOWOW the only Japanese network interested in the UFC?

  2. Bob says:

    what would be the equivalent network in the US?

  3. liger05 says:

    Is it common for fight sports to get such time slots. I know New Japan is shown at a crazy time after midnight and didnt an Misawa v Kawada match (which popped a huge rating) come on after midnight in the 90’s?

  4. Steve4192 says:

    Zuffa has a long history of partnering with smaller, struggling companies and trying to be the big fish in a small pond. Sometimes it works out (SpikeTV, THQ, Jakks), sometimes it doesn’t (Setanta), but these kinds of partnerships with small-timers are obviously part of the Zuffa playbook. They obviously value control over size, which explains why all of their negotiations with the big boys have fallen by the wayside.

  5. 45 Huddle says:

    I believe the UFC will never be big in Japan. At least not in the next 5 years. i just don’t see it ever happening.

  6. jr says:

    “Tom Lawler pissed in his fruit tray? We won’t air this show before midnight”-WOWOW

  7. Black Dog says:

    If I remember correctly, WOWOW took RINGS on early in the 90’s. Maeda spent most of one year fighting with a serious knee injury because the network told him that if he did not fight, there’d be no TV deal (as RINGS didn’t have anyone else the network considered marketable at the time). So their history does go back a ways.

  8. rainrider says:

    wowow has been airing the UFC events for some time now, and without good viewing rates and increasing fans’ demand that show decent potential, they would not add TUF in their schedule.

    I suppose that they air TUF1 before anything (even the digest version.) The original TUF had the best cast ever (many of them are still relevant). It had Johns (Diego Sanchez, Stephan Bonnar, Chris Leben), Pauls (KenFlo, Forrest Griffin), and Georges (Mike Swick, Nathan Quarry) while newer TUFs have just too many Ringos to remember.

  9. Ivan Trembow says:

    UFC to Thales Leites and Tamdan McCrory a couple of days ago: You’re released.

    Dana White to Kevin Iole earlier today: I didn’t even know Thales Leites and Tamdan McCrory were released, but this won’t stand and they will be re-hired.

    Dana White to Kevin Iole a few hours later: Never mind, Thales Leites and Tamdan McCrory really are released.

    Amazing.

  10. Alan Conceicao says:

    Well, if Strikeforce gets Leites, I’d consider that a more than fair trade for the empty shell of Phil Baroni.

  11. bdw says:

    Ivan: Way to stay on topic.
    Topic: Spike was not exactly a strong or well-known network, until TUF came along. đŸ™‚

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