Ratings are in for last night's prime time TBS presentation of Fighting and Entertainment Group's DREAM.9, and although the show ended with some controversy, it seems to have been a modest success with viewers nonetheless.
DREAM event producer Keiichi Sasahara (right) told Kamipro that the show pulled an average 16.2% rating with a high of 19.1% during the Joe Warren-"Kid" Yamamoto bout. These numbers alone are nothing jaw-dropping, but are certainly marked improvements over the numbers for the last prime time-televised DREAM event - September 2008's DREAM.6 - which pulled a 9% average rating with a high quarter-hour of 13.4% during Yoshihiro Akiyama's match. Before DREAM.9, Sasahara stated that the promotion's goal was a 15% average.
Sasahara cited the Hokkaido and Fukushima prefectures as particularly strong markets, topping out at 22% and 20+% respectively.
The lead-in to DREAM and the first part of TBS' "Martial Arts Festival" saw Japanese boxing champion Daisuke Naito defend his WBC flyweight strap against China's Xiong Zhao Zhong. According to Sasahara, the bout drew a 20.4% rating - the second poorest prime time ratings draw of Naito's career, yet still enough to help buoy DREAM's numbers. For reference, Naito's strongest performance was a 40.9% average for his 2007 bout against Daiki Kameda.