Kamipro.com had an interview with a chief producer of WOWOW (PPV company in Japan). WOWOW restarts to air the UFC starting in October.
- WOWOW starts broadcasting the UFC.
We finally signed a contract with the UFC on July 11. I knew this news had been rumored before we officially announced it. We used to air the UFC. We wanted to maintain our contract, but unfortunately the negotiations were broken off and we stopped broadcasting after the UFC 70 in April, 2007.
- Dana White kept saying he had been negotiating with WOWOW for long time.
They approached us again in 2008. We were planning to show the UFC in HD starting April of 2007; although, the UFC terminated the contact. I remember we were very surprised and disappointed.
- PRIDE fighters started to fight in the UFC at that time.
We received much feedback from MMA fans asking us to broadcast the UFC again, yet our negotiation didn't go through. The UFC overrated the Japanese MMA market.
- Was their asking price an issue? I found out the price between the UFC and Korean PPV was very reasonable.
We had several issues including the price. Our economy has been very slow comparing to other Asian countries, such as India and Hong Kong. Regardless of the fact of our economy and the MMA market the UFC considered that they could get a better deal with us.
- Are you going to show only PPV events in the US or all the UFC events?
We are basically going to show all numbering events. Their PPV packages are 3 hours. We will condense into 2 hours by picking up 5 to 6 fights.
- Who do you think is viewers of the UFC?
Boxing is popular in 50 to 60 years old guys. MMA is popular in 20 to 40 years old guys. I want to drag boxing fans into MMA and also get female viewers.
- Don't you show TUF and WEC?
We don't for now. We will broadcast numbering events for a couple of years and will consider showing TUF and other events. I suppose TUF played an important role to make the UFC major in the US; however, now events are already popular in the world and I don't see any necessity to show TUF.
- Do you see any difference of the UFC fighters now comparing to fighters before?
I think so. It's hard to get a chance to fight in a title match now. We will show exciting fights in HD.
- We watched past good events on computer. We sometimes had bad Internet connections and missed moments which fighters finished their opponents.
I understand what you experienced. We are going to show good fights which we missed in August and September. We are going to pick only famous fighters and good fights, and so I'm sure everybody enjoy.