Bad news for MMA in Japan.
In a less-than-dreamy scenario, Fight Entertainment Group's Dream MMA brand has been ousted from primetime television on the Tokyo Broadcasting System.
The change comes after the debut edition of Dream garnered lackluster ratings in a make-or-break scenario for FEG and TBS.
The event grabbed only an 8.9 percent rating average on TBS in primetime, according to Japan's Video Research Ltd. The telecast's peak was a 12.7 for the Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic bout against Tatsuya Mizuno (Pictures), which was edited into the main event slot due to the no-contest debacle in the Shinya Aoki (Pictures)-Gesias Calvancante (Pictures) fight -- the show's true main event. TBS was fifth out of the six major Japanese networks during the time slot, besting only the perennial sixth-place finisher, TV Tokyo.
The ratings were crucial for the primetime continuation of FEG's MMA product. Rumors within the Japanese MMA community surfaced late last year suggesting that TBS could take FEG's Hero's promotion out of primetime due to sagging, lackluster ratings.
Although FEG's restructuring of its MMA program and the invention of Dream were celebrated by hardcore MMA fans, the move was not an altruistic one. Rather, it was an attempt to revitalize FEG's MMA product and ignite interest on television. Link