SSReporters and I had a bit of discussion back and forth on Twitter last night about the current state of MMA and the UFC and the mistakes they tend to make. I decided to make this FanPost for everyone to suggest ideas and get some conversation going. How can the UFC improve? Obviously there are easy ones like removing the Face the Pain intro, but what else? Do you have an idea that may seem extreme? Suggest it and we can tweak it. I'll put forth some ideas and I welcome you to criticize them. Will these ideas have any impact? Of course not, but let's talk anyway.
First I'll start off talking about the number of cards the UFC puts out. At first I didn't really believe in a large amount of oversaturation. But 2011 and 2012 have proved that yeah, the UFC puts on so many cards that they are almost every card is getting watered down. In the past, if there was an injury the UFC could find a replacement and recover. Now, if there is an injury we're stuck doing a duct-tape and chewing gum patch job and the card suffers.
IDEA: Remove 6 events per year, from 32 down to 26.
- 16 PPVs, 4 Fox events, 6 FX events.
- No more Fuel events.
- One event every other Saturday for the whole year. No more Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Fridays.
Benefits and advantages: Less cards=better talent per card. The UFC could have what would be solid, above average cards in 2012 every single card if they removed events. Fuel will never be a household channel, and we're wasting our time by putting events in a place nobody will watch, and hurting the fighters that fight on them. Fox and FX actually have much better cards that will draw eyeballs since they'll have better talent. UFC puts on the same number of PPVs as they do now, but are probably benefited by having increased buyrrates per event, where they make the large bulk of their money. Set schedule: everyone always knows when football is on. Every Sunday. Now the UFC has an event every other Saturday, all the fucking time. So easy to remember. If people know when all of your events are, more of them will watch.
Drawbacks, disadvantages, and why it's unrealistic: The only reason Fuel is in the picture is because Fox pushed it (IIRC). Dana has been all aboard the Fuel bandwagon since the agreement, and really wants to push it as "the UFC channel". This has to be the biggest reason, since they are contractually obligated to put events on Fuel. The agreement has been described as very open, organic, and subject to change if they want by DW, so it could work out in theory if Fox wanted away with the pushing of Fuel. Also, go tell Dana to get rid of six of his gate totals and see what he says. This is probably offset by increased PPV revenue, but the UFC wouldn't want to get rid of it regardless. Another reason is that the UFC wants to break into so many different markets that they need to be putting on events in as many new cities as possible.
Miscellaneous stuff the UFC could do to help themselves gain some fucking viewers.
- Quit putting on crappy Fox cards. Seriously knock it off. Shogun vs Vera will continue the string of awful numbers and we all know it.
- Face the Pain. Remove it.
- Prelims have been doing okay on FX, dare I suggest making prelims for every single card (including Fuel and FX cards themselves) on there? People like regularity. Having prelims be on Fuel for FX cards, FX for Fox and PPV, then additional ones on Facebook most of the time is difficult on people.
- You can't start putting on shitty cards just because they will come out in droves. They will catch on and get tired of it real quick, and you might just destroy a market. I'll give them a pass since they originally wanted Silva vs Sonnen 2 there, but they had the clusterfuck of a time getting a stadium. I like the presence in Brazil so far, it seems like a great thing.
- I'm torn on TUF. Half of me says "Make the contracts for winning TUF be much better in hopes of drawing better talent to the show, and thus, having better seasons overall". The other half says "Don't waste your time putting legitimate prospects on a reality show, this is 2012. Just give them regular deals". What do you guys think?
- Kill Strikeforce. Gimme all their fighters. If this is happens, just add an appropriate number of UFC events to compensate for the bigger roster and lack of Strikeforce events. We've had some solid ideas float around for what could happen with TUF.
- If Strikeforce is killed, we need a fighter's union. They are notoriously anti-union. I think the UFC would make some good publicity by encouraging a union, but that is most likely offset by increased bargaining power to them. So it ain't happening but a boy can dream.
Discuss away, mutherfukers. Let me hear what you got.