Football and Sumo attract Japanese sports viewers

Sumo and football are the most covered sports on Japanese television. Data from Sports Marketing Surveys shows that in 2004/2005 these two sports took 30 percent share of sports broadcast on TV. The Summer Olympics in Athens third in popularity.

European football and other international matches feature heavily, in some instances at the expense of the domestic J-League; Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid are sometimes better known than Jubilo Iwata and Yokohama F Marinos.

Sumo on the other hand is a purely domestic sport with an audience profile of male, middle class, business men.

In volume terms, Japan TV shows 386,000 minutes of sport in a year. In comparison, UK TV shows 2,000,000 minutes of sport in a year – nearly six times as much.