We wrote to TV Japan and this is the response we received:
Dear Mr.& Mrs. DeShong,
Thank you for your e-mail.
We contacted NHK in Japan regarding bilingual broadcast for Grand Sumo
tournaments after receiving your inquiry, and they told us that there
was no such decision made by NHK and they would continue to add English
audio to the Sumo tournaments. We also forwarded your comments to NHK
in Japan to let them know how important the English audio is to
non-Japanese speakers who enjoy watching Sumo every other month.
If you have any further questions, please contact us again.
Thank you for your subscription,
TV JAPAN Customer Service
M-F 9am-5pm (EST)
7days 10am-6pm (PST)
----- Original Message -----
From: Doug <mailto:rawhide@ezL.com>
To: TV JAPAN <mailto:email@example.com> ; TVJWEST@tvjapan.net
Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2005 12:32 AM
Subject: English Audio For Sumo Broadcasts
I read a posting by Mr. Murray Johnson, who I believe is one of
the English broadcasters for NHK,
that the Sumo English Audio Broadcasts for may be discontinued?
My wife and I spoke to TVJapan representatives while recently
attending the Sumo Matches in Las Vegas ,NV. We were under the
impression TVJapan was considering extending the broadcasts to
include more matches and the traditional ceremonies. While I
observed the TVJapan people surveying individuals from the crowd
entering the arena, I felt this was an almost unanimous request of
being questioned. Also, there was much support for "The Pancake
Man", your own Mr. Dave Wiggins.
Needless to say, the only way anyone knows about Mr. Wiggins is from
listening to the English audio version of the Sumo broadcasts.
Not only is he well known among Sumo watchers in the United States,
I was surprised to talk to a gentleman from Hong Kong who was
in Las Vegas for the Sumo who asked "if the Pancake Man was doing
the announcements" for the Las Vegas matches.
With all due respect, I must be honest with you. The sole reason I
subscribe to TVJapan is for the English audio broadcasts of the Sumo
Basho's held throughout Japan every other month. It would be most
questionable for our household to pay the TVJapan subscription fee
were the English audio discontinued.
Sumo is just now beginning to catch on and is gaining in popularity
in the United States. THe discontinuation of the English broadcasts
would deal a severe blow to popularity of Sumo & make further
expansion of viewers in the United States literally impossible.
I cannot urge you strongly enough to please continue the English
broadcasts. We also enjoy Mr. Dave Wiggins the most of any announcer.
Brighton, Illinois. USA