Prior to this year’s iteration of “Dynamite,” K-1 and Dream parent company Fighting and Entertainment Group’s annual New Year’s Eve mega-card, FEG President Sadaharu Tanikawa expressed hope that the Tokyo Broadcasting System airing of the event would draw at least a 10.0 rating.
The figures are in, and the show was unsuccessful in reaching that modest goal.
The first part of K-1 Dynamite: The Power of Courage 2010 aired from 9:00 p.m. to 10:50 p.m. and pulled an average of 9.8, while the second half ran from 10:50 p.m. to 11:39 p.m. and drew a 7.8 score. Both numbers fell short of the ratings for “Dynamite 2009,” which aired on TBS in three parts and scored averages of 16.7, 11.8 and 10.6.
“We were short by 0.2 percent,” Tanikawa wrote on Twitter. “It’s unfortunate. But other shows didn’t change much. This year, we’ll get a 20 [percent].”
Public broadcaster NHK’s ever-popular “Red and White Song Battle” garnered a 41.7 rating in its 9:30-11:45 p.m. slot, a slight improvement from its 40.8 mark in 2009. Meanwhile, the second part of Nippon Television’s “Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai” -- which involved famous comedy group Downtown and a number of other comics competing in games where the goal is not to laugh, and the participants are physically punished for doing so -- netted a 14.3 from 9:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., down from its 2009 rating of 16.4.
While the competition for viewers on New Year’s Eve is typically stiff, the drop in Dynamite’s numbers reflect the Japanese public’s waning interest in FEG’s product and combat sports on the whole. The show has seen steadily declining ratings in recent years: in 2006, “Dynamite” notched a peak of 19.9, while the 2007 version topped out at 14.7. In 2008, Tanikawa declared FEG’s goal to be a 15.0 rating, but that show’s reported high-water mark was 12.9, with a low of 8.4.
According to Tanikawa, the ratings illustrate that FEG needs to stage New Year’s Eve fights that are easier for the general public to understand.
At the event’s post-fight news conference, the executive expressed his disappointment in the show’s Hiroyuki Takaya-Bibiano Fernandes main event, stating that the relatively uneventful featherweight championship bout likely did more to drive viewers away than to pull them in. Tanikawa has also voiced his desire to book more of Dream’s MMA fighters in K-1 matches to boost their visibility.