K-1 World GP 2010 Japan Ratings

October 5, 2010

FEG held this years K-1 World GP 2010 Final 16 in Seoul, Korea along with the World Max 2010 event, which took place the following day.  The event was aired on Japanese network station Fuji TV as part of FEG’s two-day event titled “Double Impact F 16″.

The event did a 10.0 rating on Fuji TV, compared to the 13.2 rating it was able to pull last year for the 2009 event.  That number has to be seen as disappointing, considering the great quality of fights the events produced during the two day stint in Korea.  The week before, FEG’s MMA promotion DREAM, was able to pull a 11.9 rating on TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System) for DREAM.16.

Payout Perspective:

For the time slot, K-1 World GP 2010 on Fuji TV finished in 4th place (in last place) behind shows televised on Nippon TV, TBS, and TV Asahi.  The event was also said to have less than usual attendance and a much cheaper price-per-ticket in Korea than what they typically charge in Japan. Dan Herbertson from MMAFighting stated that the cheapest ticket in Korea was worth around $15, while the same ticket in Japan would go for around $80.

The two day event produced some of the best combat sport bouts all year, and really brought a sense of optimism for the kickboxing scene after watching the events.  You can’t help but think that FEG is a bit disappointed with the rating and attendance numbers it garnered for the event, though we have to remember that they are missing K-1 favorites Remy Bonjasky and Badr Hari in this years event.  Remy Bonjasky vs Errol Zimmerman pulled in peak ratings for the 2009 event.

10 Responses to “K-1 World GP 2010 Japan Ratings”

  1. Larsenator on October 5th, 2010 5:09 AM

    I’ve followed K-1 rigorously since it’s inception and written for K-1 USA, International Kickboxer and other global kickboxing magazines. I also did commentary for five years as a contractor for Eurosport (for the Danish viewers): Pancrase, Shooto, K-1, K-1 World Max, HEROs, DYNAMITE etc. etc. etc.

    I have said it for a couple of years now: FEG is nearing Armageddon. They are going bankrupt within the next two years! Why? Inconsistency tournament structure wise; consistency in judges and referees errors and mistakes; inconsistent marketing; blatant ignoring of cultural differences when trying to create awareness of their product internationally; tax scandal involving Kazuyoshi Ishii who founded K-1; consistent absence of ANY drug/PED testing etc. etc. etc.

    With the new Puji Capital partnership a lot of young and not so well informed fans jummped out of their chairs in a roar of optimism but this partnership is simply another marketing stung on behalf of FEG: There IS a partnership BUT the partnership does NOT guarantee FEG ANY money – it only involves creating a vehicle for international investors to invest in (investing in FEG). It does not involve PUJI to invest in FEG but only to try and recruit third party (mostly Europeans) investors.

    It’s all a bit sad but at the end of the day I have come to live with the fact that the people at FEG CAN NOT successfully run an organisation internationally – they’ve proven this to us all for more than fifteen years!

    In fear of my own and my family’s health I will not comment on the financial side of things when it comes to It’s Showtime but a lot of people tend to think that they will take over when FEG finally dies but I am quite sure that with the current investigations etc. in Holland currently there will be no It’s Showtime in the future either!

  2. Larsenator on October 5th, 2010 5:11 AM

    “……..partnership is simply another marketing stung on behalf of FEG: There IS a partnership……”

    ‘Stung’ should obviously be ‘stunt’. Sorry guys. 🙂

  3. Larsenator on October 5th, 2010 9:45 AM

    A LOT of information about fighters who have not been paid by FEG yet here:


    and the latest fighter to come out, Ralek Gracie, saying he hasn’t been paid for a fight several months ago either here:


  4. Jose Mendoza on October 5th, 2010 12:03 PM

    Glad to see you posting again Larsenator,

    Thanks for your input here. Who do you think is in the best position to take over, if any? Golden Glory?

  5. Larsenator on October 6th, 2010 2:27 AM

    I will never leave this site mate: Read ALL your articles and it’s MINT. 🙂

    To answer your question, well, it’s kind of empty right now: there isn’t any promotion company fit to “take over”! The latest I read on the research and investigation carried out in Holland was actually about Golden Glory and It’s Showtime and the results were staggering: I didn’t know that Golden Glory was/is under the watchful eyes of the Dutch police too.

    The future doesn’t look too bright when it comes to Kickboxing and Muaythai and I’ve said it all along: We will NEVER witness either of those sports going main stream until consistency, credibility, clear and concise rules and regulations and overall fair sportsmanship are the words attached to those sports!

    K-1 is the biggest brand when it comes to kickboxing – people think K-1 when you say kickboxing.
    Muaythai is SO confusing (my first love) for the regular folk that they also think it’s K-1 when you say Thaiboxing. The problems within Muaythai are different from those of K-1 as Muaythai is governed by various bodies and K-1 is just a entertainment product of the company FEG (just like a concert, a theater play, professional wrestling etc.).

    Unfortunately kick- and Thaiboxing have a LONG history of attracting criminals: Adam Watt who one a K-1 Oceania title back in 2000 (I think it was) and who went on to fight in Japan is currently in prison on charges of being a member of a large drug trafficking cartel – the same cartel that Jan Plas (who recently committed suicide in prison in Holland – rest in peace Mr. Plas!), famous pioneer of Dutch Muaythai and founder of Vos Gym where Hoost started out, is linked too.
    When there is a Muaythai event in Denmark where I live and in Holland where I’ve been to events more than 20 times over the last fifteen years Hells Angels are always attending in large numbers. I’ve NEVER witnessed any problems (and I used to promote myself and had loads of Hells Angels buying all the VIP-tables) due to the bikers being around BUT it creates a negative picture for the outsiders which we DO NOT need at all.

    The bad thing for MMA in Europe is the above facts: In Germany they banned UFC on TV; in Holland it’s like the authorities are afraid to take the next step and allowing the unified rules and cage as it might seem like a step in the wrong direction due to all the above things I’ve mentioned; in Sweden A LOT of the people involved with professional fight sports (MMA, boxing, K-1 and Muaythai) are directly linked to Hells Angels and some have criminal records etc. etc. etc. etc.

  6. Diego on October 6th, 2010 6:07 AM

    Guys, help me out with something – this is the first time I hear ratings mentioned for K-1 or Dream and I have to say, I’m blown away that it’s in the double digits. Considering that here in the US ratings are often in the decimals, it would seem to me that MMA and kickboxing are extremely strong in Japan and promoters in Japan should be printing money.

    A rating of 10.0 on Spike is about 10 million viewers, on CBS it would be about 11 million – we are nowhere near that in the US and it seems that in Japan they hit those numbers consistently enough to be disappointed when the needle dips from 13 to 10. Either of those two results would be a huge success in North American markets.

    So with all that said, what gives? Why are Japanese MMA and K-1 in such difficulties? Are the ratings not strong enough? If so, is there an unrealistic expectation of what the ratings should be?

  7. Jose Mendoza on October 6th, 2010 1:21 PM


    Well, you can’t really compare ratings in Japan to what they are here in the US. You also have to figure that no matter what the ratings currently are, they are on a sharp decline from what they were 4-5 years ago, so sponsors won’t be too thrilled about that and are jumping out of the sport, which is vital since the sport thrives off of network tv, similar to Strikeforce with no PPV revenue.

  8. Larsenator on October 6th, 2010 1:56 PM

    Exactly Jose, thanks.

  9. Diego on October 7th, 2010 10:41 AM

    Pop in Japan is 127 M, or half of the US, and it is the second or third largest economy in the world, the ratings structure over there must be very different if FEG can’t monetize those ratings. Without knowing the ins and outs of the Japanese media industry, it seems like there is a lot of money at play.

    There’s about 50M TV households in Japan (compared to about 115 M in the US), so each ratings point should be equivalent to about 500k viewers. That means FEG is getting about 5M viewers for a poor showing. I can’t figure out how with that kind of viewership – even if it’s declining – FEG can’t afford to pay it’s fighters. They’re worse than EliteXC. At least those guys weren’t getting the viewership.

  10. Larsenator on October 8th, 2010 3:02 AM

    Japan is a WAY different culture than ANY OTHER culture. Therefore ANY trends, ways of thinking, marketing tools/strategies, popular opinion etc. etc. DOES NOT apply to Japan!
    I know it sounds harsh but seriously I’ve been to Japan and I studied Kyokushin karate, Japanese culture, grew bonzai trees, travelled to Japan, witnessed a sold out Tokyo Dome for the K-1 WGP in 2001 (Hunt won) etc. etc. and they truly are WAY different than any other nationality on mother earth.

    This is the reason why you cannot compare Japan to another country and you cannot compare another country to Japan.
    The samurai heritage is alive and important; there are a lot of what we in the western world would call perverse trends (fashion, music, entertainment etc.); the Japanese are isolated like the Brits and tend to be more domestically orientated compared to countries with several neighbouring countries etc. etc. etc.


    The state of FEG right now is due to the fact that the company has been managed in a way that has made LOADS of Japanese fans turn their back on the various FEG brands and the domestic market was always the biggest.

    Now the westerners want clear-cut, see through and fair judging and refereeing with world class match making consisting of the best possible fighter no matter what nationality. There is already a HUGE clash in interests here (Japan vs. the rest of the world) as the Japanese see the FEG brands as entertainment – but if there are no Japanese poster boys the interest will fall drastically which is what we see now (no Masato and Musashi).

    Because of the major differences in needs Japand and the rest of the world wise we will never see FEG succeeding internationally – at least not with Japanese management and a HQ in Tokyo!

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