DirecTV Picks Up TVJapan

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My biggest gripe about my video provider is that there was no way to get any Japanese language programming, not even NHK World, across its satellite beam. Now word comes to me that they are carrying TVJapan. Sure, it’s a ton of crazy stuff in Japanese every day. But the solid gold nugget in the $25/month fee is the honbasho coverage it will bring every day for two solid weeks.

Expensive? You bet! Extravagant? You bet! Crazy? Indeed!  But for a sumo lover like me, it’s a tempting scenario.  If you want to check it out yourself, take a look here: DirecTV TV Japan

12 thoughts on “DirecTV Picks Up TVJapan


  1. Comcast has TV Japan, but only in their most expensive tier. I’m surprised we even get NHK World… I would honestly consider paying a subscription fee, to TV Japan directly, but they don’t offer it as an option.


    • Totally agree. I don’t want Cable and will not pay for a giant package I don’t need. I want to be able to pay a la carte only for the channels I will actually watch.


  2. For DirecTV it seems to be a single price add-on. Once I am back from my current business road trip, I will probably check it out.


    • I have TV Japan through my cable company (Charter) and I love it. They added it about three years ago and that’s how I started following Sumo. All fifteen days of each basho air live, starting at two or three AM EST (depending on whether or not we’re on daylight savings time). They also air a 30 minute highlight show at around six PM each day of the basho. Each live broadcast lasts two hours except for the final day which lasts two-and-a-half hours.

      If you’re setting your DVR to record the broadcasts (as many do since it airs live) be sure to also set it to record whatever show airs afterward in case the show runs over (it usually doesn’t, but every so often it does).

      I watch a lot of other programming on the channel. I enjoy the music shows such as Music Station, Nodo Jimon (amateur singing contest), Songs of Japanese Spirit, and NHK Song Concert. For those into idol singers they also air Pop Music Club (boy bands with all female audience) and the AKB 48 show (idol girlpop). The music news show J-MELO is mostly in English and is hosted by pop star May J.

      I also watch the travel shows such as Journey of the Heart Across Japan and Tokyo Deep. There’s a game show called Vs. Arashi where the pop group Arashi are regular competitors. Each New Year’s eve they air the famous Red & White Music Show, featuring many of Japan’s top singing stars. It runs four-and-a half hours live and is then rebroadcast for our New Year’s a few hours later.


      • Tim W, I get TV Japan through Comcast for a $25 monthly upcharge, and watch all those music programs (except Pop Music Club), travel shows, sumo, and a few of the dramas, although I don’t speak Japanese. As a fan of enka, it has provided an essential education on who’s who in that musical form. I DVR the sumo programming, then watch it at my own pace. One of my favorite moments in most of the sumo broadcasts is at the very beginning, during which for several minutes you hear only the ambient sound of the arena while the cameras pan the crowd. It really gets you into the mood for sumo!


        • Iushi888, yes it is great when they quietly pan the crowd. You see entire families settling into their seats, beautiful ladies in kimonos, older men who surely have seen decades of Sumo live. After a while you start recognizing some of the fans as regulars.

          I have a crush on enka singer Midori Oka!


  3. Cool news, Bruce — and thanks for the added comments, Tim W! I do have access to DirecTV and honestly, it’ll be great to catch some fantastic Sumo without having to scour the Internet to watch it live, and then the streaming event goes all wonky on you. Ha ha ha ha!


  4. For $4.19 a month i use the sumo kyokai’s app Grand Sumo on my phone… it’s not like watching it on a big screen but it has lots of stats and past matches and heya info and amd and… i was thrilled to find it…

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