FanPost

I KNEW This Fox Deal was Gonna End Up Pissing Me Off


While there were the negotiations ongoing with the UFC and everyone I was rooting HARD for them to go with ESPN. Zuffa wants the UFC to go mainstream and the big unconquered realm for the UFC is the casual sports fan. I even thought they should have taken less money to go with ESPN/ABC's marketing muscle. The Fox deal came and while it still was not my number 1 choice I was still happy like most MMA fans. However over the past week this deal has pissed me off for one very big reason. It's going to inhibit the amount of MMA I get to watch.

 

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When the news of them going with Fox first broke I thought perhaps ESPN wasn't that interested. Later Dana's rant on them came along with rumors that a deal fell apart at the last second with them and Disney was even going to allow them to show fights on ABC.  This disappointed me greatly because this was the deal the UFC needed. A high percentage of MMA fans are guys who don't follow other sports or are former/current pro wrestling fans. There is a big gap with the general sports fan and ESPN would have made some serious inroads with that group.

If you watch ESPN heavily then you know that they promote the hell out of their random sports properties. Fox has done a great job of advertising UFC on Fox, but ESPN would do an even better job. They would hype it, and the athletes, in their major sports programs(First Take, SportsNation, SportsCenter, and others). During the summer, which I'm assuming negotiations were going on, they started giving MMA a lot of attention on many of these shows. This attention, especially more than just token highlights, would have gotten your average sports fans more interested in checking it out.

ESPN has done this to great extent to promote soccer(since they had the World Cups, MLS, and Premier League games) and even hyped up the Women's World Cup so much it got a monster rating. They have infused soccer into many of it's shows with highlights and stuff and I think it is partially the reason for the recent growth of MLS' ratings and attendance. Since the whole deal fell through, and the start of football season, ESPN has basically given MMA the cold shoulder again. I remember when it got to a point where I expected a highlight after an event. I think the last highlight we got on SportsCenter was the Jones/Rampage fight.

A  secondary reason I wanted ESPN to get the rights is because there is no "nation building" with ESPN. ESPN's channels are all established. On my basic DirecTV package I have ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN News, and ESPN U. With my Xbox Live subscription I also get ESPN 360. So unless they put it on ESPN Classic I'd have all my bases covered. Fox has a similar set up with all the FSN's but instead of doing that they're trying to use the UFC to build up their Fuel TV channel which no one has.

So now am I not going to be able to see weigh-ins and other things this weekend, I'm also not going to be able to watch prelims once the deal starts. So all the extra fancy crap like pre and post fight shows I'm screwed on. Another thing that has pissed me off is this:

The breakdown for events is: Fox cards will air for an hour and a half, FX will air for two hours, and Fuel will be three hours.

 

An hour and a half for the Fox cards? After everything that has gone on with this first UFC on Fox thing I am becoming extremely cynical. First we were getting two fights. We were going to see Clay Guida versus Ben Henderson AND Cain Velasquez versus Junior dos Santos for FREE on Fox! Then it was just Cain and JDS, but there was a shot of us getting both if the fight ended soon! I disappointed with that but understood. In the last week it was announced that we're only going see the one fight no matter what and that came down from Fox executives. So with these hour and a half UFC on Fox shows in the future I'm anticipating that we're going to get 3 fights tops and they wont treat the sport correctly on "big Fox." UFC/MMA events are similar to pro wrestling events where it's watched for the whole show not just one fight. UFC on Fox 1 is already setting a bad precedent with the first fight and I hope they do not continue down that path.  Even that is getting a bit too ahead of myself, but I'm still pissed about not being able to watch my goddamn prelims anymore. They should have went with ESPN/ABC and called it a day.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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