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Advice for the UFC...

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Advice for the UFC...

Unread postby furls » Sun Jun 25, 2006 8:08 pm

Right now there is a huge vacancy in the hand to hand combat sector of American sports. Boxing's most popular weight class (the heavy weight division) has sucked for about 10 years now. Most boxing matches worth watching are not televised on regular T.V. and lets face it, you dont see alot of fight parties for the middleweights.

There is a vacancy available to fill the American public's lust for blood sport and the chance for the UFC has never been better. Right now there product is just plain better and in lieu of the credibility issues that have plagued boxing for the last 15 years the time is ripe.

So here is my advice to the UFC, there was a time when boxing was the 2nd most popular sport in the country (2nd only to horse racing until about 1960) and I think there is room in the market. What the UFC needs to do is to make its product available to the masses.

The UFC should try to get more of its less marquee bouts publicly televised even if it costs them some revenue upfront. Basically, they would be investing that revenue into developing a greater audience. Folks are not going to pay 40.00 for a product that they are not in love with. That is one area where boxing went wrong. Once their fights vanished from network television their audience began shrinking until it reached the point that it is at now, a footnote in the American sportspage. I would guess boxing now ranks in popularity somewhere in between horse racing and Major League Soccer, all because the promoters exchanged a broad market for a fast buck.
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Unread postby Guest » Sun Jun 25, 2006 8:19 pm

Boxing still has excellent Pay Per View numbers
UFC also is doing very very well
MLB and NBA numbers stink
I like everything just the way it is
You want something at a premium, you have to pay to be entertained, it's the American way
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Unread postby furls » Sun Jun 25, 2006 11:02 pm

The boxing pay per view numbers are good, relative in cash flow, but they are horrid when you look at the size of the population and the "chunk of the pie" you are now getting.

Sports in America is several orders of magnitude larger today than it was the last time boxing was really relevant. Yet its wedge of the pie is not growing with the major sports revenue growth.

UFC will grow, Boxing will remain stagnant, and while I understand the mentality behind the "pay to be entertained" notion, I would hate to see the UFC squander a superior product by keeping it shut off from the larger viewing audience. You wanna talk about money? PPV may be ok, but it is nothing compared to that of a major sports league. I think UFC has the potential to emerge as a serious sport. RIght now it is treated as a novelty. With wider viewing that would end.
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Unread postby Guest » Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:08 am

Novelty?
For the very casual fan maybe.
They are selling out the Staples Center is days for events
The UFC just renewed their contract with Spike and has been getting bigger cable numbers than the WWE. WWE Raw was the king of cable for many many years and is now being overtaken by the UFC.
The UFC is just fine.
Ultimate Fight Night Wednesday night the 28th at 8pm on Spike TV
Be there
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Unread postby swerb » Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:38 am

Spoon, I agree with what Furls is saying here. 100%. I know you love UFC and MMA, but he makes several valid points if you look at it objectively. And it is a novelty, at least at this point. You cough up the $40 without even thinking about it. Most laugh at that price tag without thinking about it.

They may be selling out arenas, but the fact remains: They are on Spike TV, and in the grand scheme of things, they are still getting slaughtered in the ratings by other sports. Boxing sucks right now, and the lukewarm boxing PPV fights are still badly beating UFC PPVs.

I think I represent the kind of fan UFC needs to draw in.

I like it, it's entertaining. I'll click back and forth every once in a while to it. INHD1 and INHD2 show the PPVs for free 3-4 months later, and I will sometimes watch parts of those.

But theres no way in hell Im ponying up $40-$50 a month for the PPVs. And really, thats whats preventing me from becoming a "real fan" that is in tune with whats going on.

The question for UFC is whether or not their business model, which is likely heavily dependant on PPV receipts, could survive a year or two of free events for the purposes of a bigger fan base down the road.
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Unread postby furls » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:03 am

Yep, Swerb gets what I am trying to say. If the UFC is content to get its 40 bucks per big event from several homes (several 10,000's to be more accurate) well then fine. If Spike TV is the goal, well then they have arrived. I love the UFC product and I am sold on it. I am a big fan and yes, I will probably shell out the necessary 40.00 to see UFC 61.

I think the UFC can maintain this pay per view aspect for the big, premium fights, Shamrock vs. Ortiz and Arlovsky vs. Silvia, but they really should make a huge effort to get the non premium stuff out to the broader audience.

Saying UFC just reupped with Spike is like saying the NHL just reupped with OLN. While it is great they will be on T.V. I am not sure how many casual cable watchers have either of these channels programmed into their remotes. I think the goal for UFC should be (and probably is) ESPN 2 within the next couple of years.

While I agree that putting more events on for "free" will hurt immediate revenues, I still believe they will make it up fairly quickly in sponsorship. I am sure that Gatorade and others have deeper pockets than Xyience (although I doubt the commercials will be as entertaining!).

UFC is not a novelty to me and you spoon, but it is to the American public at large. THat is a real disappointment because the product is PHENOMENAL and getting better every day. Guys like Cabbage and Tank Abbot are going away and being replaced with guys like Sam Stout (just got his ass whooped, but still has a bright future if he can learn to grapple) and Matt Hughes and Chuck Lidell. These athletes are tremendous and the fights have really come a long way since Mark Coleman and Royce Gracie and Don Frye.
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Unread postby Guest » Mon Jun 26, 2006 6:11 pm

I love their product and hope nothing changes
The amount of people watching now is thousands times more than 5 years ago.
I'll watch no matter what.
That's what I'm saying
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