Tokyo: What do you make of the Japan Sumo Association's decision to charge fans $120 to watch live tournaments online?

The Japan Sumo Association has just introduced a pay-per-view system for live streams of top tournaments. Costing $10 per day and $15 for the final day, or $120 for the entire tournament, the concept drew sharp criticism from overseas fans.

Simon Broneske
Engineering intern, 23 (German)

There are not many fans in the EU, and for those who are there, the association realizes it can charge for the service. That’s the way of business in and around sports. Other sports are usually pay-per-view in one way, shape or form. Why not sumo too?

Allison A.
Housewife, 30 (American)

As it is already televised, it is a shame you have to pay to see it online. If the Japan Sumo Association is trying to get people to come and see sumo, then more exposure (online and at no charge) should help in getting people to come here to see it live.

Grant Nelson
Civil designer, 24 (Australian)

It’s a bit of a steep increase to go from zero to as much as $120 per tournament and as a result, I think the sport will lose fans rather than attract new viewers. They will also lose casual watchers, too, who might have otherwise got into it.

Engineer, 29 (American)

Charging so much may end up limiting exposure in other nations and harm efforts in trying to increase awareness abroad. Whether the $120 fee is justified or not is one issue, but it may be cleverer to reduce that to help with access to foreign markets.

Kazuko Okabe
Teacher, 31 (Japanese)

Sumo’s worth paying for, but looking at sports such as soccer, sumo or baseball, I see baseball as worth most in terms of pay-per-view, as baseball players tend to be more interesting than soccer players or rikishi — except for Osunaarashi, who’s unique.

Tamas Beliszky
Student, 33 (Hungarian)

That’s a hard one to answer as I am not a long-term fan, but being a fan of another type of more difficult and more technical wrestling, I think, why charge when it is so simple? Instead, they should look at other ways of making money, such as video ads.

Interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp

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