Death of Sasuke in Taiwan and Sasuke related updates

Do you remember the phrase when I said When it rains it pours.. Yeah.. it's still raining. Today I found out of Taiwan's grim news. Sasuke in Taiwan is no more. Originally when JET TV decided to change their channel format back in December, 2009, I was panicking as to what was going to happen to Sasuke in Taiwan. Sasuke 23 was JET's last broadcast. In February of this year a new player emerged in Gold Sun 國興衛視 or others call it State TV. I became excited because they seemed to embrace the same enthusiasm that the old JET TV had and even did it in the same format (original TBS version with Chinese subtitles). Golden Sun aired Sasuke 24 very quickly while in the USA G4 took forever to finally air even Sasuke 23...

Taiwan's one and only Sasuke Trials (before Sasuke 17 back in 2006) of which Lee En Chi リー・エンチ won.

In May, 2010 Gold Sun announced that they were having a Trials in Taiwan. We expected them to be around July but even then we didn't hear anything other than the deadline. Sasuke 25 was aired in the USA (for the first time ever G4 actually aired Sasuke BEFORE Taiwan). Since then it's been really quiet. I was afraid that Golden Sun ran out of money.. and it seems my fear was not unfounded. Today a post appeared in Sasuke Maniacs Forums.

Golden Sun TV decided not to pick up SASUKE 25 because it was too expensive to purchase the rights from TBS. As well, the channel decided not to have any trials in Taiwan. Sigh..

Basically, this means that Golden Sun is no longer going to air any SASUKE programming (not that they aired much anyways) and we currently have ZERO SASUKE coverage in Taiwan as JET TV no longer airs any SASUKE programming. With the trials not even happening, this pretty much ends all speculation about the state of SASUKE here IMO. It's done!

I doubt very much that any other TV station will purchase the rights for SASUKE 25 due to the ridiculous price to purchase the rights to air it. I don't really blame Golden Sun - what other TV station would pay such an exorbitant amount to show a specialty program like SASUKE? I totally put the blame on TBS and M9 for basically killing off the show here and ultimately in Japan as well.

I had a feeling that this was going to happen, but was still hoping for some good news. We haven't had much lately, and with Yuuji saying that there was no date for SASUKE 26, I think that this may be the end of SASUKE for good.

Thanks to Li again for sharing this information. I feel bad for Li and other Taiwanese who were hoping for a chance to get on SASUKE 26. I also feel bad for all the fans here that have enjoyed SASUKE over the years. Sad day...

Brian Orosco ブライアン・オロスコ, Levi Meeuwenberg リーヴァイ・ミューエンバーグ (with original number) and Lee En Chi リー・エンチ during Sasuke 25

I've been watching the decline of the TV market for a while. Shows in Japan now are being hit hard now that advertisers are being very careful where to put their money. Considering that it's what pays the bills.. (advertising) it's no wonder that in Taiwan the same thing is happening. For perspective's sake here's an interesting article based on how money is being handled these days really puts this all into perspective. The article comes from the financial loss from the recent World Cup television revenue in Japan.

Michisada Hirose, president of the National Association of Commercial Broadcasters in Japan, blamed the red ink on soaring fees for broadcasting rights paid to FIFA, the soccer tournament's organizer. In addition, corporate advertising has been declining since the financial crisis.

This is a huge argument going on right now in television. Broadcast rights have been soaring in the previous years. Sasuke is no exception. The rumor for Sasuke 24 in Taiwan was a cool $1 million US Dollars.. that's a lot of money for a niche show in a small channel. I'm sure they didn't get as much advertising revenue to cover the loss. I think they showed it twice in Taiwan since.. Seeing that they didn't have the money to pay for Sasuke 25.. it seems they were quoted again the same amount of money for that one tournament... That's outrageous. So far the only network in the world willing to fork out that kind of cash is G4.. but not without a price. Did you wonder how they got 10 people in Sasuke 23 and again Sasuke 26 (if there is one?).. That's money folks.. Each ANW is tied to those 10 slots TBS has to give them in return. G4 also has ANW as their way of making money in spades with advertising to that one series. How else do you think G4 had the $250,000 prize money for Sasuke 26 to Americans?

But right now.. G4 is literally the only station worldwide with that kind of money. Most affiliates have a hard enough time affording the Sasuke license as it is. Right now most countries can only afford the earlier episodes of Sasuke. They usually pay for the earlier episodes, see how they fare on their networks and then usually either just keep those and re-air them constantly (and not buy new stuff) or worse.. they take it off the air entirely (ask anyone in Singapore...). I'm wondering if the inclusion of G4 in Sasuke 19 is the start of the over-priced Sasuke's. I think only some European countries have up to Sasuke 20.. Sasuke 21 marks when G4 started to dominate their NW airings to feature ANC members almost exclusively. M9 and TBS have to be careful to not jump in the high priced licensing fees bandwagon. This economy worldwide is not getting better and if they keep asking for exorbitant amount of money for the broadcasting rights around the world.. we will continue to lose markets for the already taped shows.

All-star - Makoto Nagano 長野誠 posing in front of the start line in ANW2 ©Makoto Nagano

I'll try to keep the doom and gloom to a minimum but it's hard to keep positive over what's happening right now. To get you updated here's what we have. First we don't hear anything for Sasuke 26, then Ube finds out that M9 pulling the plug on it's mobile ap from Sasuke Mania, then Ube finds out that one of the Monster 9 theme parks... is closing. Muscle Park in Odaiba (Tokyo) is shutting it's doors on October 31st. Then we hear from the Apple Store event that there is no official date for Sasuke 26.. and now Taiwan doesn't renew their license.. The only thing that's saving me right now is what Nagano said to me recently. He expects a decision to be made in October about the fate of Sasuke in Japan. Only time will tell what that decision is. Keep your fingers crossed..