It's not often I write from a personal standpoint but today I felt like I should, and it's a positive stand point right now.
The last few weeks have made me really appreciate technology and the advancements we've seen. These advancements have been part of the overall growth in how boxing in Asia, is now building a wider a wider audience.
When we started this website we had to use a programme called Keyhole TV, which some of you may remember, to watch Japanese boxing from outside of Japan. This wasn't a bit of software to watch the odd show here and there, but at one point the only way to watch any show televised on terrestrial TV in Tokyo. So this meant that if a show was on TV Tokyo, TBS, NTV or Fuji TV you had to use Keyhole TV.
My god what a nightmare that was. Long term fans will remember just how bad it was. The stream was nearly unwatchable, it would regularly kick you out of the software, it was clunky and awful to use. Even their premium version offered a poor service, that was less than worthy of the small price they were asking.
Sadly there was no other option, and you had to catch it live. There was no replay facility, not way to watch later, no watching anything outside of Kanto, no watching the CS or BS channels.
KeyholeTV was followed by fengyunzhibo.com, which offered some fantastic streams though was relatively short lived. The streams were very high quality, but with service not really lasting long it failed to ever make much of a mark. We also had
Since the days of KeyholeTV we have seen things really take off in how we can watch TV from through out Asia.
We've long had access to Thai streams, ranging from the awful Thai SD3 streams to the brilliant streams of CH7 through various websites and youtube feeds of Workpoint and Thairath.
We also now have ESPN5 from the Philippines using youtube to show boxing, something they did twice in one weekend recently, and paid service boxingraise showing shows that wouldn't be televised at all, DAZN showed this past weekend's show from Yokohama and we've had our good friends at CBC recently show the Kosei Tanaka Vs Sho Kimura bout.
The move from amateur looking software like Keyhole TV to the brilliant Isakura and ForjoyTV to watch Japanese TV, giving us not only the terrestrial channels in Tokyo but also some CS and BS channels as well as a 14 day replay facility, has been massive for improving the quality of footage we can get from Japan. Despite both services costing money to get the most from, and they aren't cheap, they offer so much for boxing fans that we get not only the live and tape delay stuff but some high quality classic footage.
The way the access to the Asian scene is going at the moment we suspect we'll see a lot more Asian fighters, and Asian shows being shown in the west. And this is genuinely amazing. We have spent the last 6 years trying to help push these fighters to a wider audience and we're so glad to see it happening.
We still see some fight fans talk in a negative and derogatory fashion of the little men, fighters fighting in the lower weight classes, but it does seem that thanks to the rise of fighters Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Naoya Inoue that negatively is slowly turning to respect. We might never see some fans bother tuning in, but the lighter weights are getting more and more respect. It seems clear that more Asian fighters want to raise their profiles in the West as well as at home, and it seems like the Western fans are becoming more open, with a growing fan base
We know that the Asian "niche" is still small outside of the region, but in the last few months we have certainly seen a lot more fights being broadcast internationally. We hope that continues and that the memory of Keyhole TV and scrambling around for a working stream will be little more than a distant memory, that won't ever be repeated. Hopefully the rise in international attention will also push domestic broadcasters in Japan to up their game, and rather than having Fuji TV and TBS showing so much content on tape delay they will show things live, even if it is on sister channels and Satellite stations.
Anyway, I hope I'm not the only one currently enjoying the current growth in coverage Western fans are getting and that as quality and accessibility continue to grow we see more and more fans deciding to give stuff a watch, and become hooked!
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).