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Ninja Warrior Continues to Storm the World

ANW 2016 NBCUniversal Media, LLC
Ninja Warrior France
ANW collaborates with major brands
NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Known worldwide as Ninja Warrior, the sports entertainment TV series and format SASUKE has become one of the biggest global hits for Japanese TV content. Viewers in 165 nations and territories have cheered on competitors as they race against the clock to conquer a challenging obstacle course. In recent years, Ninja Warrior has become increasingly recognized around the world as a growing number of TV stations not only broadcast the show but also purchase the format rights from TBS and produce localized versions of the program.
Overseas versions of SASUKE often refer to the course as “Mt. Midoriyama,” a nod to TBS’s Midoriyama studio where the show is filmed. Many competitors and fans of the show even consider Mt. Midoriyama to be a sacred place.
SASUKE has become especially popular in the United States. The locally produced American Ninja Warrior was launched in 2009 and moved to a prime-time slot on the NBC terrestrial television network in 2011. In 2014, American Ninja Warrior achieved the highest ratings for its time slot for 14 consecutive weeks, making it one of the biggest hit series of that summer. It has brought in more than 100 million viewers over every season since.
The program’s popularity continues to grow each year, and the ninth season, which aired in 2017, featured collaborations with several movies, including Minions and The Mummy starring Tom Cruise. American Ninja Warrior was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program in 2016 and 2017.
SASUKE also is expanding its footprint in Asia. The first version of SASUKE to be produced in another Asian country was SASUKE MALAYSIA, launched in 2011 with support from that nation’s government. This has been followed by SASUKE SINGAPORE in 2012, SASUKE VIETNAM and SASUKE CHINA in 2015, and SASUKE NINJA WARRIOR INDONESIA in 2016.
Outside Asia, Ninja Warrior Sweden broke new ground in 2013 and a string of local versions were rolled out in Europe thereafter, including Ninja Warrior Turkey, Ninja Warrior UK, and Ninja Warrior Denmark. They were followed in 2016 by Ninja Warrior France, Ninja Warrior Germany, and Ninja Warrior Italy.
Ninja Warrior Netherlands and Ninja Warrior Spain both started in 2017, and an Austrian version and a Hungarian version also have been produced. All total, 19 local versions of SASUKE had been produced as of July 2017, including Arabian Ninja Warrior and the ratings juggernaut Australian Ninja Warrior. SASUKE is going from strength to strength all over the globe.