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January 12, 2004 Observer Newsletter: Massive rating for K1 New Year's show

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"Unbelievable” was the word used by K-1 promoter Sadaharu Tanigawa when word got out that the peak rating for the Bob Sapp vs. Akebono match on 12/31 was a 43.0, and that the short match beat out the Red & White music festival.

It was only a four minute period when the K-1 show main event (which did a 42.5 overall for the match from 11 p.m. to 11:03 p.m.) beat what has been a Japanese tradition on New Year’s Eve, in its 54th year as one of the highest rated shows every year (which did a 35.2 rating head-to-head). It was a major headline throughout the Japanese media on 1/5 when Video Research reported the breakdown of the numbers in the most competitive television night in the history of this industry.

The Sapp vs. Akebono match, which drew nearly 54 million viewers, broke the record set in the 2002 K-1 Grand Prix of a 33.4 peak rating for the Ernesto Hoost vs. Jerome LeBanner championship match.

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