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Affliction's Gamble

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USA Today has an informative blog post up about Affliction's show in July:

Despite the talent-laden roster, Sylvia remains the only fighter on the card who has been in the main event for a pay-per-view that hit a six-figure buy rate. Fedor didn't draw well last year for BodogFight -- another company that portrayed MMA promotion as part of its "lifestyle" business -- and many casual U.S. fans wouldn't even know his name if not for Randy Couture's dogged pursuit of a fight with the Russian star. Meanwhile, Barnett and Rizzo have had great fights, but their UFC primes came before Zuffa's glory days.

And their drawing power could be moot point if Affliction doesn't settle its TV situation.

The company is still negotiating with HDNet, Atencio said, despite earlier reports that talks have collapsed. The marquee fights will be on pay-per-view, for about the same price that UFC costs -- typically $45 to $50 in the United States, depending on the cable or satellite provider -- but Affliction wants to air the undercard live on a non-PPV outlet as a teaser. The entire show would be replayed several days later on a non-pay outlet.

It's interesting to note they are still negotiating with HD Net, and still trying to get a license to run the show in California.  The lineup is fantastic for hardcores, and I plan to attend, especially because I suspect this will be Affliction's only major show.

I predicted this show would do 30-45,000 buys a little over a month ago, and I'm starting to think I guessed too high.  This show is 2 weeks after a major UFC PPV (Forrest v. Rampage), and a week before an Elite XC event on CBS.  If they don't even have HD Net to promote this show and run a live free teaser, I'm going to drop my prediction to 25,000 buys.  

If this show is a complete bomb, where does Affliction stand?  They will lose a ton of money, and they have lost a huge source of advertising as a result of being banned from UFC and Elite XC.  I always felt their goal was to do Randy-Fedor as the big match to make themselves known, but if the Randy legal situation does not work out the way they want, they will find themselves in a very bad position in a few months.

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