Satoshi Ishii (black trunks) vs. Ikuhisa Minowa: Taro Irei | Sherdog.com
Dream 16 was a crucial event for the Japanese promotion, which hoped that its primetime debut for 2010 would set a strong stage for New Year's Eve. Now, the ratings are in.
Japanese television analyst firm Video Research Ltd. reported Friday that the Tokyo Broadcasting System’s primetime network broadcast of Dream 16 on Sept. 25 pulled in an average rating of 11.9, with a quarterly peak of 18.1 for the Satoshi Ishii and Ikuhisa Minowa bout.
The event aired as the second half of TBS’ “Fall Martial Arts Festival,” following popular boxer Daiki Kameda’s defense of his World Boxing Association 112-pound title against Takefumi Sakata. The first-half broadcast drew an average of 14.6.
Dream’s tape-delayed, two-hour broadcast started at 8:35 p.m. JST, placing fourth of the six major network broadcasters in Japan in its time slot. Three programs beginning at 9:00 p.m. bested Dream 16: Nippon TV variety show “Arashi ni Shiyagare” which scored a 18.5; TV Asahi mystery series “Doyo Wide Gekijo,” which took a 15.0; and Fuji TV's broadcast of the 2006 film “Limit of Love: Umizaru,” which notched a 14.4.
This was not the first time that TBS attempted to lure in boxing and MMA fans with a twin bill. In May of last year, Dream 9 garnered the promotion’s highest rating to date -- a 16.2 average with a 19.1 peak for the Joe Warren-Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto bout -- when it followed popular boxer Daisuke Naito’s World Boxing Council 112-pound title defense against China’s Xiong Zhao Zhong.
That Dream 16 was the promotion’s first primetime showing of 2010 is a reflection of the decline in national interest in MMA in Japan. Until this year, parent company Fighting and Entertainment Group were typically afforded four primetime MMA events per year on the Tokyo Broadcasting System, not including the annual Dec. 31 card.
While the figures for Dream’s final event of 2010 weren’t stellar, they were not poor, either. The promotion has yet to dip beneath the primetime low-water marks set by its first (8.9) and sixth (9.0) events. However, solid ratings from its New Year’s Eve “Dynamite” card will be crucial if FEG hopes to keep MMA featured prominently on Japanese network television in 2011.