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Pro-Wrestling NOAH губи тв сделките си!


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Новината е описана прекалено добре, а и е прекалено дълга, за да тръгна да я превеждам:

The first true business casualty of the failing global economy came out of left field when Nippon TV announced on 12/17 that it would be canceling the network’s longest running program, pro wrestling, after 55 years, when the TV season ends at the end of March.

The decision to ax the 30-minute Pro Wrestling NOAH show, which airs past midnight on Sunday nights, was not ratings related. The reasons given were economic problems in Japan have resulted in a major cutback in advertisers and advertising revenue to the network, which is operating deeply in the red. As a cost cutting measure, the decision was made to ax pro wrestling, which the network pays for production of with several tapings per month held around the country, as well as pays a rights fee to the promotion. The show, which drew some of the highest rated individual shows in the first two decades of the network’s history, had been viewed as afterthought programming for several years. The show would air somewhere between 1:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. every week, with the start time regularly changing.

NTV began airing pro wrestling in late February of 1954, airing the Rikidozan & Masahiko Kimura match against NWA world tag team champions Mike & Ben Sharpe, which to this day is such a major television event that children are taught about that match in history classes in Japanese schools. Wrestling often did incredible ratings during the 50s and 60s, with matches like Rikidozan against Lou Thesz and The Destroyer, and Giant Baba’s big matches with the likes of Bruno Sammartino, Fritz Von Erich, Bobo Brazil, The Crusher, Gene Kiniski and Dick the Bruiser. It remained a prime time staple into the 80s, when foreign stars like Stan Hansen, Bruiser Brody, The Funks and Mil Mascaras along with Baba, Jumbo Tsuruta and Genichiro Tenryu, were household names in the culture.

NTV executives largely shaped much of the history of Japanese pro wrestling. The decision in 1972 to go with the top star, Baba, when he left Japan Pro Wrestling to form All Japan Pro Wrestling, led to a 19-year-run. A similar decision in 2000 (although not going into effect until 2001) to go with the top star, Mitsuharu Misawa, when he left All Japan Pro Wrestling to form Pro Wrestling NOAH led to eight seasons of weekly programming.

The move is the second devastating blow to the company in recent months. In September, Yomiuri TV, NTV’s affiliate in the Kanto area (Osaka, the country’s No. 2 market) had stopped airing NOAH programming.

With the company just learning of the decision, there is no word on what they will do next. All Japan has remained in business since losing NTV, although its popularity has greatly waned and the company has battled serious financial problems over the years, including periods when the wrestlers and office people would be paid in tickets, which they could sell to make money when the company could no longer afford to pay them.

Those close to the industry believe NOAH can survive, but it will have to operate at a lower level, and it probably won’t be much longer where they would be able to have the drawing power to still run their major events at Budokan Hall. Unlike with the Fuji Network’s decision to drop Pride in 2006, which it was clear to anyone with business sense would spell the death of the promotion, NOAH doesn’t put on multi-million dollar productions or spend hundreds of thousands of dollars per appearance for top name talent. But it will greatly affect the future. Besides the loss of whatever mainstream exposure for its wrestlers the late night slot brings, they also lose the revenue the network had been paying them, which is significant. It will force major cutbacks in expenses and talent, and it could, long- term, threat the viability of the business.

The company already made the announcement several weeks back that it would not be taking the entire roster on the road anymore, leaving contracted talent at home during tours to save on travel costs. The idea was the hardest working and best drawing talent would get to go on the road, and those who weren’t hard working would lose their traveling squad status to those who trained the hardest in the gym.

The network has considered keeping wrestling on its satellite affiliate, but would no longer broadcast usually two major events live per month, somewhat similar to a PPV format. They are considering filling time with NTV wrestling classics, airing tapes of classic matches in their huge library.

It is believed some of the satellite sports channels would have an interest in current NOAH, but viewership of those channels is tiny compared to even late night network fare in Japan, and production is of much lower quality. All Japan has a weekly one hour show on Gaora, but viewership is minuscule. All Japan, like New Japan, has had to scale back operations using fewer foreign wrestlers and carrying a smaller tour roster, and its matches air on a several week tape delay. The Budokan Hall shows air live in their entirety on NTV’s satellite station, and the Budokan Hall main event airs usually the same night, for a Sunday card, or on the first Sunday after the event, on the network.

The move would leave New Japan on TV-Asahi, late Saturday nights, as the last network wrestling show in the country. That show has been in danger several times in recent years due to so-so ratings and a difficulty in getting sponsors.

The lack of television visibility is the key ingredient in the huge decline in pro wrestling interest. For the past few years, MMA has taken the cultural place of pro wrestling, but that, also, has declined because there are no stars with both the ability and charisma to carry stuffing instead of potatoes. Pro wrestling and MMA when they were the most popular in Japan were always heavyweight based businesses, but both products simply don’t have the type of heavyweights that can capture the attention of the public.

While the hardcore audience is fully aware of the young wrestlers like Takeshi Morishima, Naomichi Marufuji or KENTA, to the masses, who occasionally will attend, the biggest names are the last stars created when the late night television was still drawing strong ratings, Misawa and Kenta Kobashi. But this is one of the biggest dominoes of a decline in recent years which has also seen the death of Weekly Gong and Weekly Fight, two of the three major newsstand wrestling magazines.

Кофти. Много, много кофти. По принцип тази година New Japan & All Japan направиха финансов възход (особено NJPW, които в крайна сметка най-вероятно ще отбележат най-добрата си финансова година от няколко години насам) и от големите три федерации само NOAH беше в спад, но след тази новина вероятно догодина положението ще стане значително по-лошо за NOAH. Кофти. Много, много кофти. :(

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Ебаси shit-a.Много гадно за NOAH.


Chono Masahiro - Support or Die.

 R.I.P Mitsuharu Misawa 1962-2009 

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