We posted video yesterday of UFC president Dana White's odd video blog for UFC on Fuel TV 3 which instead devoted itself entirely to Dana White responding to Wrestling Observer (and former Yahoo!) writer Dave Meltzer's analysis of the UFC on Fox 3 numbers (subscription required).
Meltzer responded in the WO Forum:
"Here's all I want to say.
Dana called me and told me what he was going to do ahead of time saying he didn't want to blindside me. He was pissed at the article in last week's Observer and if he's pissed he doesn't hold it in. And I've got no issue with that or with him. I wish he hadn't brought up the Yahoo thing just because it brings sympathy to me that I don't want and that it probably does him no benefit to the outside world to be doing. It appears he's kicking a guy when he's down and I'm not down, so it didn't bother me, but to the outside world, I don't know how it comes across. th someone
Rather than rallying around me or saying Dana's hurting into Eric or Vince, just read the article. If you think I wasn't fair and presenting both sides of the story, then he's right to be mad. If you think I was fair, then that's cool. Any discussions should be about the points in the article because if anyone thinks I'm mad at him, well, that's the furthest thing from the case.
As far as I'm concerned, I thought the article was fair. He didn't. We've disagreed before and agree far more than we disagree when it comes to the product."
Meltzer also commented on White's comments on the Figure 4 podcast with Bryan Alvarez. Here's a YouTube embed of the audio:
The complete transcript of Dana's statement is after the jump along with Jamie Penick's analysis of Dana's comments.
Dana White on Dave Meltzer (transcription via Fight Opinion):
"First of all, Dave Meltzer wrote this huge story, doom and gloom story on how the UFC and Fox is blowing this things because of the numbers that came out. First and foremost, DAVE, you know I like you, I respect you, but you just lost your job at Yahoo... and you want to give us business advice? I'm actually writing a story next week that I'm going to put out of all the ways I think you could have, all the things that I think you could have done to keep your job at Yahoo. That's story is coming out next week, Dave, you might want to read it, OK? And... what I want to explain to all the fans out there and people who aren't fans about what went on, uh, on Fox 3 Cinco de Mayo.
"First of all, we were the number one program of the night with all key male demos. Now, I know a lot of don't understand all of this but I'm going to break this thing down for you and explain it to you. During the last Quarter Hour, we ere the number one program of the night with all adult and male demos. We peaked at 3 million viewers during the main event, which is the way a show is supposed to build throughout the night! Now, Kevin Iole wrote in his story that we got beat by Shark Tank and NCIS with total viewers. OK? Let me explain to you how that works. Shark Tank, first of all, is a one hour show. 1.9 million of those viewers were 50 years old and older! They were 50-plus, 60% of the people that night were 50-plus years old! The median age on that show was 55 years old.
"And it gets better!
"NCIS, again a one-hour show, 3.3 million of their viewers were 55 years old and older. OK? That's 75% of the audience, 75% of the people that were watching that show were over 55 years old. The median age on that show was 63 years old. UFC on Fox median age was 39 years old. So, what does this all mean? Oh, and one more thing. The HUT levels that night. HUT levels that night and HUT levels mean total viewers watching television that night were down almost 10 million from the first Fox show that we did, down almost 10 million viewers. 10 million people weren't home watching TV that night. Well, it was Cinco de Mayo. The Avengers came out, which was you know the biggest opening in movie history. And one other thing - the NBA Playoffs that night that went off right around the same time we did, it was the San Antonio/Utah game, we beat them across the board in every way, shape, and form you can beat them. Right? Do you see the writers, uh, that cover the NBA going out there and going, ‘Oh my God, it's doom and gloom, what's going to happen to the NBA?' Because if we beat them and our situation is so bad, what does that say for the NBA?
"So, my point of this whole thing is: 1) guys, do your homework. Seriously, do your homework before you go out and start shooting your mouth off in stories about things being a fad and doom and gloom and all this stuff. You don't know enough about it to t-t-talk about it, right? And 2) Dave Meltzer, you just lost your job at Yahoo, buddy, OK? The last thing anybody needs from you is business advice."
One has to wonder what White is thinking with this broadside against Meltzer. The original piece was posted for paying subscribers to the Wrestling Observer only. That's an audience of a few thousand at most. White originally intended to take to the airwaves and respond on Fuel TV. That strikes me as a counter-productive step as it simply increases awareness of Meltzer's piece.
We'll post a summary of Meltzer's arguments tomorrow.
Here's what Jamie Penick of MMA Torch had to say about White vs. Meltzer:
Yes, ten million less people were at home that night watching TV, but guess what? The UFC didn't put forth the type of main event to make any of those ten million stay home. That's a very real part of the issue. Yes, Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller was a great fight, and hardcore fans absolutely expected it to be, but the UFC was going to get them to watch regardless. They didn't have a fight that drew in the casual fan in droves; they didn't have the type of fight that made people say, "oh, I know The Avengers is out, I know it's Cinco de Mayo, I know there's other stuff on TV, but I HAVE to see that fight!" Simply put, the UFC wasn't "must see TV" on May 5 with the card they provided, not for the masses. While that doesn't mean the end of the world for the UFC on Fox, it should be at least somewhat concerning to see such a steep decline. Instead, White went on the attack.
And to address his attack on Meltzer regarding Yahoo!, it's not as if Meltzer was "fired" from Yahoo! because of a lack of quality or for his abilities in the realm of business advice. His Wrestling Observer newsletter has been a highly successful venture for decades. Yahoo! decided not put as much of their resources into covering MMA as they had been doing, and decided not to pay Meltzer what he would have rightfully felt he was owed. And in the time since Meltzer has left, the CEO that made those decisions at Yahoo! has lost his job as well. It's not something that has any bearing on the situation, but White uses it here as an attack. This was another in a long line of reactionary responses from White that distorts things on this front, while ignoring some of the reason why criticism is being levied in the first place.