UFC Media Credentialing Practices Questioned

May 29, 2008

Perhaps the only thing hotter than a cageside ticket for a UFC event is a media credential. The UFC’s credentialing policy, and its media strategy generally, has been a source of controversy among journalists for sometime. Los Angles Times blogger Richard Abowitz went public with his complaints about the company’s credentialing policy after being denied access to UFC 84.

Abowitz believes that his poking and prodding at UFC President Dana White for an interview about on-going spats with Tito Ortiz, led to his receiving “a credential application with all sorts of stipulations required for a press pass,” including “the trivial, forbidding my wearing certain clothes, to the ridiculous, controlling where and when I was allowed to write about the event forever more.”

Abowitz says he corresponded with UFC events manager Diann Brizzolara who told him:

“We have the right to protect our brand and how coverage taken from our events is disseminated. Other sports leagues, such as the NFL, have similar regulations printed on the back of their press passes.”

The difference according to Abowitz was the fact that his credential application required a signature, which essentially made it “contract.” Whereas regulations printed on the back of a credential by other organizations essentially amounted to a wish list.

Based on my experience this practice is indeed rare in other professional sports. When I was a radio reporter in college at Hofstra’s WRHU, I was routinely given access to MLB and NHL games, without having to even fill out an application. Typically, a request on company letterhead sufficed.

One Response to “UFC Media Credentialing Practices Questioned”

  1. Jonathon Reed on February 12th, 2011 10:44 PM

    I have had several people I know have to deal with Diann Brizzolara and she is rude and has no business handling credentials. She has acted like she is the ruler of the keys to UFC. Sorry to hear they gave you so much trouble.

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