by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
After mixed martial arts seemed to disappear in Japan, the Dream promotion emerged from the building blocks of both K-1 Hero’s and the former Pride staff. Now many American fans are asking if and when they will see the promotion’s events on television in the United States and if it will ever hold events live on American shores.
FEG executive Sadaharu Tanikawa spoke to MMAWeekly.com about the possible expansion of the show into the U.S., but stated that their hopes are to first establish a brand name in Japan before trying their hand in the United States.
Tanikawa went on the record saying that it would take “maybe a year or two” for the new Dream promotion to gain the same strength among fans that the former Pride brand did before its demise.
While the live shows in the United States may still be a ways off, there is the possibility of a television broadcast deal. HDNet has led the way so far and Andrew Simon, CEO of HDNet Fights, says there is a chance the two could work together.
“HDNet Fights is interested in a partnership with Dream and other organizations in Asia if the right deal terms can be made,” he said in a statement to MMAWeekly.com
Simon likes the idea of adding Dream to an already impressive list of MMA shows on the network.
“I think they would be a fine addition to the great partners we currently have on HDNET,” he stated. “We are already partnered with Strikeforce, IFL, Sportfight, Maximum Fighting Championship, Ring of Combat, XFL and M1-Global. We expect to announce other partnerships shortly.”
Tanikawa said that while he does not work as a part of the team at FEG that makes the decisions regarding television deals, he looks forward to Dream making its way onto American television.
“It would be a great deal if it happens,” he said about a potential deal with HDNet Fights. “But I think any TV station in the United States we make a deal with would be a big step into the U.S. market and finally we would like to have a main TV station in the United States that has an audience that is ours, (under) our control.”
Dream will hold its next event on April 29. As of yet, no television deal has been finalized to broadcast the event in the United States.