by Scott Petersen and Ivan Trembow – MMAWeekly.com
Multiple sources have confirmed to MMAWeekly that Pride is planning to make its next pay-per-view event from Japan available in the United States on live pay-per-view for the first time in the promotion’s history.
In the past, Pride’s events in Japan have always aired on a tape-delayed basis on United States pay-per-view outlets. While this tape delay has been as short as 18 hours in many cases, it has also been a full week in other cases, or even a full month in the case of a few Bushido events.
Even when the tape delay was only 18 hours, many MMA fans wished that they could watch the events live and couldn’t resist the temptation to read the results online before the U.S. pay-per-view debut.
Now, starting with the event that will be held in Japan on April 8th, Pride is planning on making its events available for live viewing on U.S. pay-per-view outlets. The events will still have numerous replays for fans who don’t want to stay up late to watch the events live.
This is not unlike what HBO does with major boxing events that take place in Europe. For example, HBO will air the upcoming Wladimir Klitshcko boxing match from Germany live in the United States at 5:00 PM Eastern Time (which is 2:00 PM Pacific Time) and will then replay the fight in the U.S. in primetime with a 10:00 PM Eastern and Pacific start time.
Part of Pride’s motivation for doing this stems from the fact that they lose money every time a fan watches an illegal Pride video online instead of buying the PPV.
However, the primary motivation for doing this is that Pride wants to cater to the U.S. market as much as possible, and offering its Japanese events on live U.S. pay-per-view is a big step in that direction.
Sunday, April 8th in Japanese time is actually in the latenight hours of Saturday, April 7th in U.S. time. Regardless of what the PPV timeslot ends up being, Pride is planning to make the start time of the live event in Japan coincide with the PPV timeslot that it gets in the United States so that the event can air live on U.S. pay-per-view.