Last Friday Fuji TV, and affiliate Kansai TV, showed a world title double header. The card saw Ryota Murata (15-2, 12) [村田 諒太] reclaim the WBA "regular" Middleweight title, as he stopped Rob Brant (25-2, 17) in 2 rounds, and also saw WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro (16-0, 9) [拳四朗] stop mandatory challenger Jonathan Taconing (28-4-1, 22).
Following those bouts there was a rather long wait for the TV numbers to be released, with that wait ending today. And boy were the numbers impressive!
Kenshiro, who has often missed out on live TV chances with Fuji, drew an average audience of 8.4%, a huge number for a guy that had been so over-looked.
Despite the Light Flyweight champion doing impressive numbers his fight was dwarfed by Murata, who averaged 11.9% in the Kanto region and 12.9% in the Kansai region, and peaked at 14.9% in Kanto and 20.8% in Kansai.
Whilst transferring the % to raw numbers isn't totally accurate it does give us some us fairly rough numbers to be blown away by.
The rough average is a little over 7,000,000 people watching Murata, with a peak of around 11,000,000. A figure that is frankly staggering for a fight, though may end up paving the way for more bouts in Japan to take place on a Friday.
Taro Takeuchi, a producer at Fuji TV, praised the numbers and Murata and made it clear that boxing was getting great figures on Fuji TV, and it seems clear that they are expecting the numbers to continue to grow.
Of course it's not only Murata and Kenshiro who are big names affiliated with the channel, with Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] also fighting on the channel, and his WBSS final with Nonito Donaire (40-5, 26) will expected to do incredible numbers of Fuji later int he year.
This past Saturday Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] claimed the IBF Bantamweight title abnd booked his place in the WBSS final with a second round TKO win over Puerto Rican Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-1, 12).
The bout was shown in Japan via 2 different methods. Firstly the bout was shown live on WOWOW at around 5am, not a great time for a TV audience and given that WOWOW is a subscription service the potential audience is limited. The figures for this airing haven't been revealed, though we can't ever recall WOWOW figures being reported in the Japanese press anyway.
The bout was then shown on tape delay during prime time on Sunday night on Fuji TV, Inoue's usual broadcaster. Fuji, for those unaware, is a terrestrial channel, free to air in the Kanto region, with affiliate across the country, such as Kansai TV. The figures have been reported for this broadcast are truly astonishing, especially for a tape broadcast that was available online and had had the result spoiled.
In Kanto, where over 43,000,000 million people live, the audience share is a 10.3%. By raw numbers that's big, and was an increase of 4.8% from the average of the last 4 weeks in the same time slot. That's almost doubling the average that Fuji are getting for that particular slot.
Things were even more impressive in Kansai, the second largest region where around 23,000,000 people live. Here the broadcast drew 13.5% of the audience a figure up 8.4% on the average of the last 4 weeks, almost tripling the previous few weeks numbers.
The figures for the rest of the country haven't been reported yet, but there's a very, very good chance that this bout broke an audience of 10,000,000 viewers, a staggering number for a tape delay broadcast where fans who were in a rush to watch could have found the bout in full online.
According to sources these were the average numbers as well, not the peak viewership leaving real questions as to just how many people tuned in at some point during the broadcast.
With rumours being that his WBSS final against Nonito Donaire (40-5, 26) could be staged at the Kyocera Dome Osaka, a stadium that can hold well over 40,000 for events, it's clear the Monster is a star with a growing fan base in Japan, as well as globally, and if his popularity continues to grow as it has done, there may be no option but to let him headline a Tokyo Dome show in the future.
This past weekend we saw WBO Flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka (13-0, 7) [田中恒成]score his first defense of the Flyweight title, defeating Ryoichi Taguchi (27-4-2, 12) [田口良一] over 12 rounds in Gifu. Today we have been informed of the TV ratings for the bout, or rather at least some of figures.
The figures that have been released were the average figures for Kanto, Kansai and Tokai which we assume would be for TBS, MBS and CBC.
The show got an average of 3.6% in Kanto, 3.% in Kansai and 6.1% in Tokai. Figures that aren't huge, and certainly don't come close to matching those of the biggest names in Japan, but still add up to being well over 3 million viewers.
It's worth noting that it's quite hard to compare these like for like with other TV figures, given that it had an early slot of 4PM, and is being compared to prime time slots on much more attractive days. Still it gives a bar for which to compare Tanaka's fights going forward, and does show him to be a clear star in his home region, even if that fame hasn't yet stretched into the other markets.
On New Year's Eve TBS showed the WBO Super Flyweight world title bout between Kazuto Ioka (23-2, 13) [井岡一翔] and Donnie Nietes (42-1-5, 23), which saw Nietes take a controversial decision to become a 4-weight world champion.
The bout was part of a strange hybrid broadcast with "Sasuke 2018", and today the ratings for the entire show was released, in 3 parts.
The show was broken into various parts for the TV rating, all of which are averages and not a peak number, starting at 6.5%, rising to 6.9% for parts 2 and 3 in the Kanto region. In Kansai it was 4.2% for the first part, rising to 4.8% and then topping off at 5.9%.
We've not go specific details on which part correlates to what was being shown, though out understanding is that the middle portion of the show was the Ioka Vs Neites bout.
A 6.9% rating in Kanto is around 3,000,000 people whilst a 4.8% in Kansai is just over 1,000,000 and 5.9% in Kansai is around 1,350,000. We suspect these will be disappointing numbers for TBS, who sadly dropped their traditional Kyokugen show for Sasuke 2018.
Interestingly Rizin 14, on Fuji TV on New Year's Eve, reportedly got 7.5% in Kanto and 8.2% in Kansai, accounting for around 5,110,000 viewers for the exhibition bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Tenshin Nasukawa.
On December 30th fight fans got their year ending Fuji TV show, a show that was dubbed the "Triple", yet only actually showed 2 of the 3 world title bouts that took place.
The broadcast saw a WBC "interim" Bantamweight champion being crowned, as Takuma Inoue (13-0, 3) [井上 拓真] out pointed Petch Sor Chitpattana (48-1, 33) [เพชร ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] and also saw WBO Super Featherweight champion Masayuki Ito (25-1-1, 13) [伊藤 雅雪] successfully defending his title against Evgeny Chuprakov (20-1, 10).
Today we saw various sources reporting the basic TV rating of the broadcast, which hit 6.3% in Kanto and 8.8% in Kansai.
To put that into raw numbers the show got around around 4,730,000.
Sadly we've not been given the information as to whether that was an average or a peak.
Given that the show didn't have a recognised star, for example Naoya Inoue [井上 尚弥], it's hard to know how Fuji will feel about those numbers. To put the numbers into some perspective Naoya Inoue's bout with Juan Carlos Payano averaged 8.4% of the Kanto region and peaked at an impressive 12.6% in the region.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!