It was announced today that DDT Pro Wrestling has been acquired by CyberAgent, the company behind the AbemaTV online streaming service. DDT will continue to do business as a subsidiary of CyberAgent and there is no change to the company name or its organisational structure. Sanshiro Takagi will continue his role as president of DDT. In addition the director of CyberAgent Takahiro Yamauchi will now become the director of DDT.
The deal between DDT and CyberAgent was made on 1st September when DDT transferred 100% of its outstanding shares to CyberAgent. The amount of money it cost has not been made public. Sanshiro Takagi commented on the deal by saying he wants to increase awareness of DDT, make it more appealing and aim for further expansion of the business. CyberAgent’s statement on their website mentions “the professional wrestling boom in recent years” being a reason why they are adding DDT content to the AbemaTV service.
All of the DDT spin offs are included in the acquisition so BASARA, DNA, Tokyo Joshi Pro and Ganbare☆Wrestling will also have their content appearing on AbemaTV. The first live show on the service will be this Sunday’s “WHO’S GONNA TOP?” event in Korakuen Hall. It will be free to all site members and registration to the website is free too. A special announcement about DDT’s future will be revealed during the show. Takagi promises DDT will continue to provide more of the fun, intense and dramatic stories that they are known for.
Right, so with that out of the way, I should probably give an opinion on this. Well, it’s been about 12 hours since the news came out and I still don’t know what to make of it. I hope DDT gets to continue doing all the stuff that makes it DDT. Everything announced so far isn’t ringing any alarm bells. Takagi is still president, the only change to the structure is the addition of a director and there’s now an extra service DDT gets to be a part of. Doesn’t sound like any drastic changes are in the works. But that’s what is only announced so far and it sounds like there is more news to come on Sunday. Companies don’t get purchased just to continue being run the same way.
I’m in the dark about AbemaTV and its influence over in Japan. Some comments I’ve been able to make out on a few Japanese sites sound like it’s a big enough deal to be compared to Bushiroad buying New Japan. But my limited understanding of the company isn’t enough to figure out how accurate that claim is. Plus there have been plenty of times when a wrestling company expects to reach new levels with their broadcast deals only for them to fizzle out in demoralising ways (speaking of that, what crazy timing of this news to come out by the way).
Maybe it will work out. As mentioned above, AbemaTV wants in on the pro wrestling scene as it is on an upswing in Japan. There’s a good revival going on being led by NJPW with Dragon Gate behind them. DDT I reckon is third and All Japan are doing a wonderful job recovering from what was an absolute wreck a few years ago. Hopefully NOAH can find a way back to their feet. DDT has been constantly looking at ways to grow by being different to everyone else. The variety of projects on offer is probably what helped made DDT appealing to CyberAgent. Personally I didn’t think much of Tokyo Joshi when it began but that thing has grown far above my expectations. DNA scratches that itch I get for watching new wrestlers develop show by show. BASARA I think is struggling because its small roster often makes their shows repetitive but it offers a different change of pace from DDT. Ganpuro is the little rascal I can’t help but give a pat on its head to every once in a while.
For us outside of Japan, your guess is as good as mine in regards to how or even if we’ll get effected by this. There was no mention about DDT UNIVERSE in any of the statements. Can that service coincide with the AbemaTV deal? I don’t expect my enjoyment to change anyhow. The role of this blog is staying the same. Crazy things in DDT will continue to happen. I will want to continue describing them to you. People in the company will continue to be confused as to why a stranger in Ireland has made this his hobby. Such is life. Wrestling is weird. Have fun with it.
With that said, I’m crossing my fingers this acquisition will work out.