Kudos to MMAWeekly

October 29, 2008

While perusing MMAWeekly’s site I noticed their button to raise funds for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Kudos to MMAWeekly for setting aside some ad space inorder to raise funds for a great cause.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 8 Ratings At A Glance

October 29, 2008

The Ultimate Fighter Season 8 has seen marked fluctuation in the ratings over the first six episodes but the show seems to have settled into the general 1.1 to 1.2 range. Such a range is comparable to the performance of the show over the past four seasons. Unless the there is sudden drop in the ratings, like the .79 registered earlier this year, the show should post the slightest of upticks in the ratings for the year.

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THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER RATINGS – OCTOBER 22, 2008

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RATINGS

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HH P18-49 M18-49 M18-34 M18-24 M25-34 M35-49 P2+ (000)

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TUF 8- Week #1 1.20 1.09 1.52 1.49 1.17 1.72 1.56 1605

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TUF 8- Week #2 1.13 .97 1.36 1.56 .73 2.16 1.16 1481

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TUF 8- Week #3 .79 .71 1.04 1.13 .83 1.35 .94 1051

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TUF 8- Week #4 1.42 1.19 1.74 1.94 .99 2.63 1.53 1875

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TUF 8- Week #5 1.10 .92 1.26 1.47 .96 1.84 1.03 1362

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TUF 8- Week #6 1.29 1.05 1.44 1.35 .88 1.70 1.52 1674

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TUF 8- AVG 1.20 1.05 1.48 1.59 .95 2.06 1.37 1584

Historical look at performance over the first 7 seasons:

Season Overall % Change M18-34 % Change
1 1.6 n/a 2.2 n/a
2 1.4 -12.5% 2.5 13.6%
3 1.7 21.4% 2.9 16.0%
4 1.2 -29.4% 2 -31.0%
5 1.2 0.0% 1.6 -20.0%
6 1.1 -8.3% 1.5 -6.3%
7 1.1 0.0% 1.6 6.6%
Average 1.37 -4.8% 2.13 -3.1%


NOTE: Numbers rounded to nearest tenth.

MMA Authentics Statement on UFC Ban

October 28, 2008

MMA Authentics, owner of the Cage Fighter brand, issued the following statement to MMAPayout.com in regards to their ongoing dispute with the UFC:

MMA Authentics™ has a tremendous amount of respect for the UFC, its’ athletes and the business Dana White and the Fertitta brothers have pioneered in the sport of MMA. We are working towards a solution and hope to work with the UFC in the future to grow the sport to greater heights worldwide.

MORE: Cage Fighter Banned From The Octagon;   More on Cage Fighter Ban

EliteXC: A Lesson in Expectations Management

October 28, 2008

There are many golden rules within the business world, but in regards to selling yourself, your company, or your product, none are more important than this: never over-sell, never over-hype, never over-promise. It’s basic expectations theory.

When an organization makes a promise, they set an invisible bar of expectations within the minds of their customers. Then, for better or for worse, they’re stuck with the task of meeting those expectations; because, obviously, if you don’t meet the expectations of your customers, they’re not going to be happy.

While it seems like common sense, there is a host of academic research behind expectations theory. Perhaps that’s why I’m so surprised that a guy like Jared Shaw – someone so quick to pull out his Harvard School of Business case studies against KJ Noons – has managed to commit one of the greater selling sins in recent memory.

Under the management of EliteXC and the Shaws, Kimbo Slice has been promoted as this “street certified,” legend-slaying monster – a veritable MMA God. Unfortunately, they did such a good job of duping the general public that most actually believed the hype.

To the mainstream, Kimbo Slice, was as advertised; and, their expectations followed accordingly.

Sadly, those expectations were brutally exaggerated and MMA’s first, real foray into the mainstream should be considered a failure if for no other reason than the damage that Seth Petruzelli managed to inflict, with one glancing right, to the chin of both Kimbo’s and MMA’s credibility. And that’s even ignoring the controversy surrounding “Standgate.”

As a result, the general public – and perhaps just as important, the mainstream media – is very weary of our sport; all thanks to those brutal expectations that were unwisely, and perhaps even unfairly, thrust upon a fighter that was not ready and a sport that knew as much.

Now, the rest of the MMA community is left with the task of picking up the pieces and learning from the mistakes of the past.

So to all of you would-be promoters out there, know this: you’ve got a fine line to walk, between under and over-selling – tread it carefully. You can’t dupe the consumer and live to operate another day.

Ratner Responds on SC MMA Regulation

October 28, 2008

Marc Ratner, Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs for the UFC, has been a tireless champion of the regulation of MMA since taking his post in 2006. So it should come as no surprise that he has been a very interested observer of recent events in South Carolina. After reading our reports on the situation, Ratner contacted MMAPayout.com with an update on the UFC’s efforts there:

We’re working with the SC Legislature and the Athletic Commission and have been there a couple of times. South Carolina is an important state and we look forward to having them approve MMA. The UFC will not go to a State that has not approved the sport of MMA. Our concern is that when there are unregulated fights like they had at Parris Island that something could go wrong either medically or in this case with the fight in question and bring the sport more controversy. This fight has caused some problems for the sport, but what it shows is the very real need for the MMA to be regulated.

Ratner also shared a few details regarding future targets for the UFC regulation push. “We are also working on Indiana, Wisconsin and West Virginia,” Ratner said. “So we’re busy!”

MMAPayout.com on FOXNews Fight Game [Video]

October 28, 2008

MMAPayout.com’s Andrew Falzon appeared on the most recent edition of the Fight Game with Mike Straka on FoxNews.com. The program consisted of a roundtable discussion on various issues in MMA.

Also appearing on the program:

Adam Weiss, Adam Weiss Public Relations

Marcus Mera, iGuilltone.com Clothing

Gregor Gracie, MMA Fighter and member of the sport’s first family

Among the topics for discussion were the EliteXC fallout, how the sport has been cleaned up, the Dana, BJ vs GSP, and much more.

Countdown to UFC 90 Draws Record Audience; Is Silva Poised to Breakout as a Draw?

October 27, 2008

MMAPayout.com has learned that Countdown to UFC 90 drew 796,000 viewers on Spike TV last Thursday. That number is good enough to make it the most watched Countdown show of the year and believed to be the most watched in the history of the program.

Based on that number, MMAPayout.com projects that UFC 90 will draw 626,839 buys. The formula used to project pay-per-view buys based on countdown viewership has been remarkably accurate this year, however, a number that high would shock the MMA industry.

Anderson Silva has been a weak performer on pay-per-view historically and this event was perceived to be one of the weakest lineups of the year for the UFC. However, it is Silva’s first headlining bout since the UFC’s push of him as the best pound for pound fighter in the world, which included a heavy TV rollout for his bout with James Irvin on Spike in July. A number above 500,000, let alone 600,000, would be a testament to the marketing muscle of the UFC and Spike.

Affliction, The Media and MMA (…continued)

October 27, 2008

Last week we told you about the gaff by the Affliction/ M1/ Trump media team, when a representative of the organizations asked that FoxNews.com, NBCSports.com and foreign media outlets remove their mic flags and replace them with Affliction branded mic flags.

The article received a few responses, but the one that stuck out was from No Hold Barred’s own Eddie Goldman, a combat sports journalist who has helped pioneer coverage of MMA from day one.

Email documentation provided by Goldman shows that after he RSVP’d to the intial press invitation, Jeremy Silkowitz of Swanson Communcations, representing the trio of companies responded: Unfortuntely, we will not be able to add you to the RSVP list for tomorrows event. I have received word from Trump Towers security that they were at capacity for this event prior to your name being added to the security list.”

Silkowitz also informed Goldman that a future Affliction press conference will be held in New York to announce an Affliction Entertainment fight and that there would be no space limitation.

Goldman’s response spared no expense: “Keeping me out of this event will only hurt your show by limiting coverage on the most prestigious show there is, No Holds Barred.”

Goldman also was in contact with Kelly Swanson of Swanson Communications, who insisted that it truly was a space issue that kept Goldman out of the event, held at Trump Tower.

MMAPayout has contacted both Silkowitz and Pamela Rogers, who is Affliction Entertainment’s PR representative and will bring you any relevant updates.

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We will be back in New York to officially announce the next Affliction Entertainment fight, and for that event there will not be limited space. We look forward to your attendance.

Fighters Only Magazine Announces Expansion Plans

October 27, 2008

In times of worldwide economic demise and recent news that the financial downturn has effected the MMA business community, some good news prevails from the UK as ‘Fighters Only’ report plans for major growth.

Fighters Only produce the UK’s leading MMA and Lifestyle magazine, a rapidly developing website, the world’s only digital MMA magazine and a branded product range. The major expansion is due to take place in two stages during the final quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009.

The company is set to double it’s UK distribution next month by expanding into the booming grocer market. Fighters Only are the first MMA publication to be carried by leading supermarkets as the result of a landmark deal brokered by the pioneering company. To keep up with increasing demand the company also plans to produce 13 issues a year (one every four weeks) as opposed to their current monthly schedule, which the brand states will give their subscribers more value for money.

The growth does not stop there as news has been released that dedicated US and Canadian versions of the magazine will be launched in the early part of 2009. Having already sold their UK version in these countries on export the wholly owned editions will cater for the ever growing demand on the popular title argued to be the best magazine on the market.

Fighters Only Managing Director Rob Hewitt comments:

“We continue to set precedents at Fighters Only, we were the world’s first monthly MMA magazine, the first to launch a monthly digital edition, the first to deliver MMA industry awards and now the first to offer readers 13 issues a year. Our quest to bring fight fans the most in depth, up to date and insightful coverage of MMA is born out of our own passion and commitment to the sport. The success of the company to date is extremely exciting and the potential for the future even more so, with long term plans to have issues of the magazine on sale in every country where there is an interest in MMA.”

Inside MMA Looks at MMA Regulation Problems in SC

October 27, 2008

MMAPayout.com recently detailed the problems faced with MMA not being legal in the state of South Carolina. Inside MMA’s Ron Kruck took a closer look at the situation and spoke with the promoter about the challenges faced in the state. While the state most likely won’t be host to UFC shows, hopefully UFC VP and regulation point man Marc Ratner will make his services available to the athletic commission and the forces lobbying to allow MMA in the state. Ratner was helpful in a similar situation, when New Hampshire passed MMA legislation.

 

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