Well, the UFC's ratings for the last two events weren't so hot, despite very entertaining cards with dramatic fights. Dave Meltzer believes that this issue is very serious, and worries that the UFC suffers from overexposure. Based on my own, anecdotal experience, I'm a bit conerned he might be right. My own "casual" friends don't seem to be as interested in watching the fights as much as they were a few years ago. The excitement generated by fighters like Lesnar and GSP doesn't seem to be there any more, the buzz from the reality show has faded since Rampage/Rashad (or at least GSP/Koscheck), and overall there's just less interest.
This was concerning to me, and I have speculatd about ratings and buy-rates as much as the next guy. But here's my question ... why should I, a moderately-hardcore MMA fan, give a crap? I can understand why Dana White cares - it's his money. And I understand why the fighters care - it's their money too. And it gives the media to something to talk about.
But as long as the fights are still on, and I can find them (specifically, as Canadian, as long as they stay on Sportsnet), it really doesn't matter at all whether anyone else is into it. I also enjoy mainstream sports - like baseball, hockey, and the NFL. But it's not like I get a special prize beause more people are watching the events. Who cares?
I can think of a few reasons why ratings might be important:
- It's more exciting when even casuals are hyped up (like the UFC in the Skydome, or the Jones/Rashad fight);
- If the ratings are better, more events will be on TV;
- If there is more money involved, higher quality athletes will be attracted, and hte product will get better;
- With more attention, some of the sport's issues (like poor judging or drug testing) might improve.
- With new casuals entering the sport, people like us could assume an annoying "hipster" role and constantly lord it over them, which from what I understand would make us irresistable to women.
But really, that's basically it. Overall, I have to say I don't really give a crap whether anyone else is watching MMA, as long as I can, and as long as there are at least people on the Internet to talk to about it. Overall, I have to say, I don't
Am I missing anything? Let me know if there are other reasons why we should worry about ratings.