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Tikozan

Toyasuko's YouTube channel dead

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In fact, while every Japanese person may already be in position to receive sumo for free because they're already supposed to pay for NHK anyway, why should they want to be tied down to their TV for that? And being able to receive NHK with a TV card-equipped notebook and wifi doesn't count, in my opinion...that still forces you to watch exactly when NHK deigns to broadcast it. I find it hard to believe that every single sumo-interested Japanese person (or at least an overwhelming majority) is happy with that arrangement, so I'm definitely not buying the "there's no market" argument. And I highly doubt there'd be only 1000 overseas subscribers to a good internet offering, if sumo is as much of a selling point for TV Japan as it's always said it is.

Well regardless of whether they are happy with the arrangement or not, that is the reality. Another reality is most subscribed to TV Japan for their drama, entertainment and news.

Simply put there is no market for sumo even in Japan. NHK is the only provider because no other commercial broadcaster is willing to do so because there is no market. In the old days (TV's and Ozumo's golden age back in Taiho and Wakanohana I's days) there were as many as three commercial broadcasters doing it but one by one they left and they have not come back. Even during the peak years of Waka-Taka era, none showed any interest to come back and do the daily coverage. Now any commercial broadcaster does is to show one of those one day tournaments once a year for a few hours more or less live.

Free or pay basically you need to rely on NHK broadcast as none is prepared to invest the money to broadcast it. I am not sure why you are so much against NHK coverage even if there is a service to provide a net feed as even MLB.TV is a coverage provided by team's local provider such as Yankees, Red Sox or ESPN channel as they are not done by MLB. As indicated sumo broadcast is freely or very inexpensively available in Japan, for the viewers there, not much incentive to pay $120 a year to view it.

So we are only talking mostly about those living in abroad and not currently subscribed to those TV channels already providing the sumo coverage. Since they are already not paying for the TV service, those willing to cough up the money to watch it won't be many. I think reasonably you'd expect to pay around $25 per basho and multiply that by six, it will come to $150 a year. Since I doubt many will pay that amount in Japan, they will have to rely on the overseas viewers. I don't think they will reach the break even point for starting out with such a venture or someone has already started.

Another thing I think is Japanese broadcasters are very reluctant to distribute their material world wide either for copyright or some other reasons. For instance there is no Japanese radio station based in Japan with all day streaming right now and I always wonder why. Since they do have the technology and money (most of commercial radio stations in major cities have bigger budget than some local TV stations in U.S.), they can do it if they so wish but they don't. They can have KONISHIKI doing a program from Hawaii but they won't distribute it there.

Much of NHK's Radio 1 can be broadcast worldwide with not much problem as some of the programs are aiready on shortwave so why not have audio broadcast streamed from their website? Perhaps it has something to do with their copyright laws which in some areas are more strict. For instance all TV video rented outside of Japan (by Japanese groceries or videos shops) must be registered and governed by the industry's watchdog (like how long the shops can keep them and how many copies they can make). Getting back to sumo, I think one big stumbling block is that the Kyokai is not really one solid body but made up of many organisms moving into one direction or another so things move slow as anything they will have to do, they will have to get the members (oyakata) all agreed after a seres of exhaustive studies by learned and knowledgeable experts.

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Free or pay basically you need to rely on NHK broadcast as none is prepared to invest the money to broadcast it. I am not sure why you are so much against NHK coverage

(Sign of approval...) I thought I'd made it quite clear I'm against having to rely on TV (as a medium) for coverage in general. Nothing to do with NHK specifically. I'd be subscribing to MLB.TV even if I had MLB Extra Innings available (which of course I don't) at the same price.

So we are only talking mostly about those living in abroad and not currently subscribed to those TV channels already providing the sumo coverage. Since they are already not paying for the TV service, those willing to cough up the money to watch it won't be many.

I think you're vastly understating (or underestimating) the difficulty of accessing TV Japan/NHK World in places outside of the US. As mentioned previously, it's not on cable for me, and I bet it's not available on many other major cable providers across Europe. And as much as I like sumo, I'm not getting a dish just for it (cable suits my ever-dwindling TV needs just fine), assuming I could even get a decent view of the relevant satellite from my apartment window. I'm quite sure many other people are in similar situations. And that doesn't even touch on the ridiculous hoops US-based people are jumping through to get TVJ even if they do have it on their cable system...every time I've read somebody on the SML going "oh, I'm calling my cable company to subscribe to it at the start of the basho and then unsubscribe again right after it ends, so that I won't have to pay too much", I've had to shake my head.

Of course there are people who are continuously subscribed to TVJ because they watch it a lot outside of sumo as well, but I think you'd be surprised how many mainly sumo-interested people would likely dump TVJ in a New York minute if a decent on-demand internet offering of NHK's English simulcast became available as an alternative.

Also, when I say "on demand", I'm not just talking same-day on-demand availability...there's no reason why the archives couldn't also be available in between bashos and of course months and years later with relatively little added overhead, which would be a huge added value over the TV broadcast. I'm not saying such an offering would be guaranteed to be profitable at prices that aren't "highway robbery" as Moti said, but arguing from the point of view that "it won't work because what TV offers is good enough, and anybody who isn't watching sumo on NHK or TV Japan already can't be very interested anyway" is putting the cart before the horse. (Not to mention a classic "no true Scotsman" fallacy.) Lots of TV networks and associated companies all over the world have found out of late that what TV offers isn't good enough for many people, after all, and I'd be stunned if sumo and/or NHK as a whole will be an exception.

Getting back to sumo, I think one big stumbling block is that the Kyokai is not really one solid body but made up of many organisms moving into one direction or another so things move slow as anything they will have to do, they will have to get the members (oyakata) all agreed after a seres of exhaustive studies by learned and knowledgeable experts.

Of course. It would be nice, however, if they could at least get that process started sometime. Surely the issue of internet distribution isn't exactly earth-shatteringly fresh even for the notoriously slow-moving Kyokai, given that the web stream is probably having its 10th anniversary soon...

Edited by Asashosakari

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what time (Jpn) as 8 hrs ahead of the UK, would you expect it to fill up now?

To be honest I haven't tried lately but as soon as the Makunochi bouts begin the stream is full.

When I last tried I think it was between 7.30 am and 8.00 am GMT

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The reason I mentioned TV Japan or NHK is that because they can make it reasonably inexpensive to watch Ozumo as along with Ozumo, they provide other programming so more people subscribe and that makes it cheaper for each individual subscriber. Having sumo alone will make the subscription price prohibit ably expensive.

Sumo is not really in the mainstream even in Japan. If you go to a typical book shop in Japan where there are hundreds of magazine available all categorized, in the sports section, you will unlikely to find a sumo magazine even though there are three published in Japan. They are likely buried deep down and behind other magazines intentionally because not enough people buy it. If you want a copy, you probably have to ask to order it for you in many shops. You are more likely to find a rock climbing, table tennis or volleyball magazine on the top along with assortments of soccer and baseball magazines.

The rest of the world, it is pretty much in fringe. Comparing it with other major sports like baseball or soccer does not make sense actually. I'd look at it more like classical music in North America. You don't find any TV station broadcasting 24 hours exclusively with classical music alone. So the fans might say why can't we watch a classical musical festival say, on web. Well there is such a service now (medici.tv). So this is not TV, all on the net. But do you know what their subscription price is? It's 5 Euro per day, 25 Euro per month. That will allow you to stream all you want of their archives. But as you know, many want to watch the programs and download it, burn them on DVD so that they can watch on their TV set. Well it costs 5 to 9 Euro per program. You know people are not just satisfied with watching it on their laptop monitor.

I don't particularly consider that is a highway robbery. Independently produced or retail download will cost that much. How many people here are willing to pay say even 15 Euro per month for stream alone or pay 5 Euro for each basho day for download (all makuuchi and juryo bouts will take roughly three hours so that's about 1 DVD worth)? If you pay that amount in a year, you can certainly buy a dish and receiver.

Unless you piggyback on an existing TV network already producing such programs, the cost will simply be overwhelming to most sumo fans so the number of subscribers will not be significant and you cannot make money on such a small subscriber base.

I love to see someone come up with a sumo archived site so we can download video by bout or basho but currently the past sumo video (like the greatest rikishi of Heisei era or Takanohana yokozuna DVD) costs upwards of 4,000 Yen, so whomever will be providing such a service will not charge so much less. So even in this I doubt most of us here will be using such a service often enough even with 5 Euro per day only for streaming. But as you are saying, if there are more than 1000 people willing to pay, say 25 Euro or $50US per month, for streaming on their computer, then it may makes sense for someone.

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I don't particularly like to finish off this tread with a purely negative thought but Ozumo is nothing particularly different from any other professional sports operated in Japan.

Do you get to see Japan's professional league baseball or soccer or basketball? They even have one for volleyball too. Do they stream live outside Japan? What about horse racing or Keirin bike races?

None of them do. So there is no point in singling out Ozumo by concluding they are against those living abroad whether they are Japanese or not.

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I don't particularly like to finish off this tread with a purely negative thought but Ozumo is nothing particularly different from any other professional sports operated in Japan.

Do you get to see Japan's professional league baseball or soccer or basketball? They even have one for volleyball too. Do they stream live outside Japan? What about horse racing or Keirin bike races?

None of those constitute the world's top offering in their respective sport, though. If NPB was perceived as the premiere baseball league on the planet, do you really think they wouldn't be offering something similar to MLB.TV at this point?

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Do you get to see Japan's professional league baseball or soccer or basketball? They even have one for volleyball too. Do they stream live outside Japan?

I see Japanese baseball, but it isn't an official stream. As for the BJ League, I don't think I'd be interested given the current quality. Soccer I'd love to see. I probably could find a feed if I put my mind to it..

Sumo wear diapers.

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On TV Japan I also see the occasional Japanese baseball game (Giants vs. Softbank this weekend) and soccer. I don't think they show any basketball. You're right though, it really is no different than anything else.

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