I love MMA as much as the next guy, hell, maybe MORE then the next guy...depending on who he is. Most of all, I love the UFC because they are the biggest and best at promoting top level MMA, I prefer the various aspects of their production and presentation to that of other organizations.
But when I hear that 34 events is the number that the UFC is looking at for next year...it's kind of a scary thought on the surface, especially if the # of PPV events is the one that sees a marked increase over all others.
This year we will end up being treated to 16 PPV events(125-141 minus 138 which is free), 6 free cards on Spike(fight for the troops, Davis vs Nog, Tuf 13 Finale, Shields vs Ellenberger, 138, Tuf 14 finale), 4 free cards on Versus(Versus 3-6) and 1 card on Fox.
That makes for a grand total of 27 total events. Next year they are bumping the total number by 7 events. That feels like a big jump.
To break that down, we are confirmed to get 4 cards on Fox and 8 cards on FX(two Tuf finales and 6 other 'fight night' style events).
So that leaves 22 other events. I would certainly like to hope that the UFC isn't thinking about running 22 PPVs within a calender year. The average buyrate will only go down of they do that. If anything, doing a few less, but significantly more relevant PPV cards a year would only ensure that the impact of each PPV event would be that much larger. There would be more lead time to market each PPV specifically and no have to worry about having just two weeks to promote PPVs to the masses.
If anything, I would hope that a massive deal with Fox would work more toward becoming more free and more based on ad revenue. I think the sort of ideal situation would be more regular free events with about 8-10 big PPVs a year.
Now, there are some things that make me think that 22 PPV events next year won't be the case..as that would be a pretty insane feat to accomplish, nearly 2 PPVs a month...roughly $100 a month from their loyal fans....it would only make people skip, pick and chose which events they buy more.
But back to the point, I am hearing that FuelTV is going to have a solid amount of programming from the UFC...and that they were looking to 'build Fuel up like we did Spike' with things like prelims, UFC unleashed, and etc.
I can only hope that Fuel, or at least SOME other channel under the Fox umbrella, will get some live events next year...because I am not liking the idea of potentially getting 22 PPV events.