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.







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



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


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


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


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


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


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











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.

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.


Fight Biz Quote: Detroit Free Press

October 27, 2008

• As Rick Morrissey exits, I ask the veteran Chicago Tribune columnist if he’ll be back at a UFC event anytime soon.

• “Yeah, I might,” he said. “I like it.”

• It’s been a long time coming, but maybe the UFC is finally starting to make a few fans in the mainstream sports media. We can only hope.

-Nick Meyer of the Detroit Free Press, commenting on the long awaited embracing of MMA by the sports media.

Rachelle In Playboy (Pic)

October 27, 2008

UFC personality Rachelle Leah recently appeared in Playboy, but also included in the issue was one of the first media buys for the partnership between the UFC and Bud Light. Leah was featured in an ad for the beer company elsewhere in the issue.

Canada's Network TV Landscape

October 27, 2008

Roger’s Sportsnet Poised To Lead MMA Coverage in Canada

He’s perhaps the most influential referee in the sport, he’s the man who coined the phrase “let’s get it on!,” and he’s also the man who made waves through the Canadian MMA community earlier this month when he announced his departure from The Fight Network [TFN].

To many an MMA fan in Canada, TFN is considered to be the only source for consistent MMA media coverage in the country; but, sadly, “Big” John McCarthy’s departure, in addition to the loss of their UFC content privileges, and rumoured financial trouble, have seriously put the broadcast network’s future in doubt.

All of this begs the question, if not TFN in Canada then whom? The answer, while not immediately apparent, seems to be Roger’s Sportsnet.

While Sportsnet has long played second-fiddle to the mighty sports juggernaut that is TSN, they now appear poised to gain the upper hand with MMA – a sport that is increasingly attracting greater amounts of attention, not only from viewers, but also advertisers.

To start, Sportsnet has – for a major sports network – been granted unparalleled access to the UFC. In fact, so much so that they were able to broadcast UFC 89 live and in HD, a full six hours before any other network in North America. Sportsnet’s relationship with the UFC also gives them an opportunity to broadcast Ultimate Fight Nights, episodes of The Ultimate Fighter, and full, week-long coverage of UFC PPV events. Sportsnet viewers are getting the full gamut of fighter interviews, press conferences, weigh-ins, and fight predictions the week leading up to a major UFC PPV – all in addition to a Sunday afternoon wrap-up.

The network is also succeeding where others have failed. Contrary to the myopic approach that most sports outlets have taken to MMA, Sportsnet’s coverage is not exclusive to the UFC. In what seems like an ironic twist of sorts, Sportsnet’s access to the UFC has actually provided a platform to launch a more wide-ranging coverage of the entire sport of MMA. This is particularly evident online; where the MMA enthusiast can find an array of content and information for a variety of promotions.

I had the privilege of speaking with Sportsnet’s chief MMA expert, Joe Ferraro, last week and he’s promised “explosive stuff” from the network in 2009. Ferraro emphasized the need for an increasingly global approach to MMA with regard to Sportsnet’s future coverage. He also noted that, “the real difficulty for [Sportsnet] is attracting the hardcore fan. We’ve already got the casual fan via the rest of our programming.” He then added, “and in that sense, I suppose [Sportsnet’s] challenge is the exact opposite of MMA’s.”

And if there were ever any doubt as to the current demand for MMA content and MMA-related advertising within Canada, Ferraro put that debate to rest, “our [advertising slots] are bought-out almost immediately. [Advertisers] understand the value of reaching the MMA demographic.”

Other Networks Need To Wake Up

And who would have ever figured Sportsnet to snatch the MMA ball and run with it?

My immediate reaction to TFN’s decreasing role led me to Canadian sports juggernaut, TSN. The subsidiary of CTVglobemedia Inc., TSN [The Sports Network] is the number one specialty channel in Canada and essentially the Canadian equivalent of ESPN – it even has its own Sportscentre.

Unfortunately, TSN’s only MMA offerings to date have been tape delay broadcasts of WEC events (sometimes 2-3 weeks behind). Their programming content seems to reflect an older demographic as they’re heavy on the NHL, the Canadian Football League, and Tough Man competitions (if you can believe it). Within the last year, however, they’ve won bids for the right to broadcast Monday Night Football and the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.

Moreover, TSN’s online content is nearly non-existent. They’ve got a wealth of information and blogs dedicated to just about every other major sport – including boxing – yet scarcely more than an Associated Press copy-paste mention of the UFC and absolutely nothing on any other promotion except if it involves Kimbo Slice.

To be fair, however, TSN is anything but short for programming these days and it’s entirely plausible that increasing their MMA content could threaten the company’s existing audience. And why bite the hand that feeds you?

So, needless to say, I then turned to the other remaining sports media outlet, The Score. The former broadcast home of the Alberta-based Hardcore Fighting Championship and Calvin Ayre’s Bodog Fights, the score is a low-budget network that fills much of its programming line-up with looping coverage of sports highlights, poker tournaments, and a mix of European football and NCAA programming. They also recently signed a distribution deal with Scott Coker’s Strikeforce. Interesting, but enough? Not nearly – especially considering they have zero online MMA presence.


Yes, there is an incumbent on the MMA scene – its name is Roger’s Sportsnet and it’s led by one of the better analysts in the sport today, Showdown Joe Ferraro.

They might not be the 24/7 combat channel that TFN was, but be rest assured that they’re about to set a major sports network precedent for MMA coverage in the future.

For more information about Roger’s Sportsnet and its MMA content, check out www.sportsnet.ca/mma.

Also, be sure to listen into Showdown Joe Ferraro’s next podcast through www.showdown.ca/.

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