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Hiro Morita’s “Sumo Prime Time”

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2 hours ago, Yamanashi said:

I have commented on his "alternate locutions" several times.  They are sometimes irritating, but I wouldn't get rid of him over it.

In many sports broadcasts there is an "anchor" ( a person with a Journalism degree) who does the straight reporting, and a "color commentator" (usually an ex-athlete) who puts the "color" or interest into the broadcast.  It's my understanding that Sumo broadcasts had that system in the past, but now they have a single commentator (for NHK World), and the one announcer has to wear both hats.  To my ears, Murray is more anchor than color, Hiroshi is more color, and Ross splits it down the middle.

As I quite clearly stated-i think he does a great job and I can get past his "alternate electrocutions" easily. Still, some can be fixed. Get rid of him? No way. He has a huge following.

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23 hours ago, junsan said:

Which means more Murray Johnson on the English broadcast!!

More likely that Hiro will hand over to Raja Pradhan, Murray is probably more of a translator than a producer?

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22 hours ago, sumojoann said:

I'm sure he rubbed all of the NSK officials the wrong way -- BIG TIME!  I cringe just thinking about his encounter in the street.  He probably gave them the impression that there was no way they would be successful without bringing him on board to take charge.

 

22 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

I wouldn't quite put it so strongly, but that was roughly what I had in mind, too. One can only hope he put it across more forcefully on his channel than he did to the NSK.

 

10 hours ago, Kintamayama said:

I'm sure the NSK officials have no idea who he is.

Maybe the NSK and Hiro have been working on this in secret for months, maybe years. You won’t jump from your salaried position unless you have commitments from the most important parties, NSK and the NHK, that you won’t be shut out of sumo broadcasting in the future  

So Chris barging in like that as an outsider into a done deal that was announced “hurriedly” might look like he was trying to steal Hiro’s thunder?

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6 minutes ago, rhyen said:

 

 

Maybe the NSK and Hiro have been working on this in secret for months, maybe years. You won’t jump from your salaried position unless you have commitments from the most important parties, NSK and the NHK, that you won’t be shut out of sumo broadcasting in the future  

So Chris barging in like that as an outsider into a done deal that was announced “hurriedly” might look like he was trying to steal Hiro’s thunder?

I think he was offering himself to do the Kyokai videos translations, not becoming an announcer instead of Hiro.

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9 minutes ago, rhyen said:

 

 

Maybe the NSK and Hiro have been working on this in secret for months, maybe years. You won’t jump from your salaried position unless you have commitments from the most important parties, NSK and the NHK, that you won’t be shut out of sumo broadcasting in the future  

So Chris barging in like that as an outsider into a done deal that was announced “hurriedly” might look like he was trying to steal Hiro’s thunder?

Sounds a bit conspiracist to me. More likely than not, the only credit Chris can take is to finally make the NSK aware of the fact that there was a large English audience for sumo content, and the NSK would rather collaborate with a known quantity to produce that content under their control than to partner up with someone they don't know from Adam.

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Centuries-old organizations representing the soul of a nation worth many billions of yen do tend to bite on major initiatives proposed by some rando in the street, right?

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Posted (edited)

Just to clarify - and this is from Hiro directly.

(1) Hiro has left NHK as an employee

(2) He will still continue to do the live broadcasts for NHK, and Grand Sumo Preview for NHK World.

(3) His new channel is in partnership with the Japan Sumo Association but he isn't a JSA employee.

(4) He is now completely freelance and open to offers of work from anyone. He is also wiling to accept interview requests or do guest slots on other shows, podcasts, YouTube channels etc and has already said he'll likely take up an offer to talk to Grand Sumo Breakdown once his YouTube Channel is up and running.

 

Edited by Inside Sport Japan
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Everyone that can should start their own business if they can get their employer to hire the business for the same job that they did.  At least in the US, there are nice tax benefits.

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Did Hiro Morita use to do anything else for the NHK other than sumo-related content? If no, then striking out on his own was definitely a better move considering the seasonal nature of sumo coverage.

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Posted (edited)

I enjoy Hiro's segments but have never really been a fan of his live commentary. Not that it's unpleasant or anything, I just don't think he stands out as being an impressive commentator. I prefer Murray, Ross, and also John Gunning when he's been on.

As for Raja, his voice isn't the right one for the sport in my opinion.

That said, I usually watch in Japanese anyway and commentary is a small consideration for me as long as it's not conspiracy riddled nonsense - if there's sumo to watch I'm happy. 

Edited by Katooshu
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1 hour ago, Seiyashi said:

Did Hiro Morita use to do anything else for the NHK other than sumo-related content? If no, then striking out on his own was definitely a better move considering the seasonal nature of sumo coverage.

Hiro was with NHK quite a while before he started doing sumo work. He was also a newsreader and maybe did other jobs. 

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I think I'd still prefer watching sumo in Japanese over English even if I didn't understand a word of it. 

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Whatever Hiro’s shortcomings as a commentator (and personally I’ve never been that bothered by his turn of phrase, tbh), I’ll be giving his YT channel my full support. I’ve already subscribed. Even if the content ends up being more miss than hit, it’s important to show there’s a market for anything at all. I’ve been a part of too many projects that got cancelled because of poor execution to know that decision makers readily write off good ideas because they weren’t executed well. I’m happy to give Hiro time to perfect his content.

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On 29/07/2022 at 21:00, Reonito said:

Off-topic, but he's currently banging on about how Teru more or less threw the yusho race :-/

Indeed, and as well as that he was again banging his anti-Kyokai drum with respect to Asanoyama, interspersed with his incessant toadying of Hakuho  I'm surprised he hasn't posted a video of Hakuho's toilet habits yet.  Some of his videos are useful eg when details of the first two days' bouts are released, but this anti-Kyokai conspiracy theorist drivel is getting beyond a joke.  If his theory about Terunofuji supposedly throwing the yusho away, shouldn't he suggest that to the Kyokai?

I remember somebody writing into Sumo World back in the day after Futahaguro's exit, and the reader was giving off to Andy Adams about everything he saw wrong with the Kyokai.  Andy quite reasonably replied saying the bottom line is if any changes are to be made it is up to the members of the Kyokai.  He felt that if he was to make any suggestions at that time, they would quite rightly be rebuffed.

Swami

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2 hours ago, Katooshu said:

I enjoy Hiro's segments but have never really been a fan of his live commentary. Not that it's unpleasant or anything, I just don't think he stands out as being an impressive commentator. I prefer Murray, Ross, and also John Gunning when he's been on.

As for Raja, his voice isn't the right one for the sport in my opinion.

That said, I usually watch in Japanese anyway and commentary is a small consideration for me as long as it's not conspiracy riddled nonsense - if there's sumo to watch I'm happy. 

I like all the English commentators, though if I do have a preference it would be Murray - he blends a nice of being informative and including a little levity when the occasion merits it.

Swami

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1 hour ago, Eikokurai said:

Whatever Hiro’s shortcomings as a commentator (and personally I’ve never been that bothered by his turn of phrase, tbh), I’ll be giving his YT channel my full support. I’ve already subscribed. Even if the content ends up being more miss than hit, it’s important to show there’s a market for anything at all. I’ve been a part of too many projects that got cancelled because of poor execution to know that decision makers readily write off good ideas because they weren’t executed well. I’m happy to give Hiro time to perfect his content.

Indeed.

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18 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

Sounds a bit conspiracist to me. More likely than not, the only credit Chris can take is to finally make the NSK aware of the fact that there was a large English audience for sumo content, and the NSK would rather collaborate with a known quantity to produce that content under their control than to partner up with someone they don't know from Adam.

I’m not sure if Chris can take credit for that. If anything the NSK totally overestimated the foreign sumo crowd during the pay-per-day streaming times. 
 

NSK has been aware of sumodb and others like kintamayama for a long time.

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16 minutes ago, Tsuchinoninjin said:

I’m not sure if Chris can take credit for that. If anything the NSK totally overestimated the foreign sumo crowd during the pay-per-day streaming times. 
 

NSK has been aware of sumodb and others like kintamayama for a long time.

I think they overestimated the amount we were willing to spend. I loved that service bit it was expensive. A full year's sumo was over $720 US.

NHK has been even more aware, since that's who periodically shuts the digest producers down. I'm surprised they haven't done more to reach out. I suppose they plan to make their money licensing footage for Hiro's channel, without having to pay to produce it.

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9 minutes ago, Churaumi said:

I think they overestimated the amount we were willing to spend. I loved that service bit it was expensive. A full year's sumo was over $720 US.

NHK has been even more aware, since that's who periodically shuts the digest producers down. I'm surprised they haven't done more to reach out. I suppose they plan to make their money licensing footage for Hiro's channel, without having to pay to produce it.

I suppose the economics work out better nowadays? Cheaper to produce, easier to sell, and more willing customers. At least I hope that's how they see it.

As for the NHK, well, makes sense. Saves them all the costs of production while getting a revenue stream.

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7 hours ago, Swami said:

If his theory about Terunofuji supposedly throwing the yusho away, shouldn't he suggest that to the Kyokai?

 

Maybe he could add that tidbit in when suggesting that he be contracted to do their English Sumo commentary ... uh, never mind.

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Posted (edited)

Imagine constantly trashing someone and spreading baseless conspiracy about them and their employees, then moaning that they don't want to work with you.....like, what did you expect?

Edited by Katooshu
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Posted (edited)

Just to get back on topic...

I like Hiro. He has enthusiasm and passion and reasonable knowledge. I have got used to all the things I found a bit odd about him years ago when I first saw him, in terms of his manner and language. Now I just appreciate these things as part of how he is.

Edited by Naganoyama
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Posted (edited)

First introductory video is up. Does quite a good job of outlining the ambit of the channel, and it's extremely welcome to have English sumo content professionally produced, but Hiro's commentary is clearly after the fact. Is it just me, or are there tinges of NHK involvement in some of the overlays, or was that an NSK design choice in e.g. Sumopedia all this while?

A lot of nice behind the scenes footage courtesy of the NSK, and also IMO a good choice to focus on the historical and cultural aspect of it. This really might be the way to get long-term fans (like me) that aren't tied into surges in popularity of particular rikishi.

Also, no Hiro-isms I could detect, so I guess I was right about being able to script them out. (His presentation for the bout commentary is clearly affected, though.)

Edited by Seiyashi
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Seiyashi said:

 

Also, no Hiro-isms I could detect, so I guess I was right about being able to script them out. (His presentation for the bout commentary is clearly affected, though.)

His commentary might be after the fact but I particularly liked "they fiercely go after each other!" as they both stand motionless in the centre of the dohyo :-D

Edited by Octofuji
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