I like Dave Meltzer and all … next to Kevin Iole he’s like a bastion of reporting ethics. Well, lets ignore the fact that Dave cherry picks what he’s going to report for Yahoo in favor of his for-pay newsletter. But fuck … Yahoo probably demands that all it’s MMA news be stale and obvious.
But one thing I don’t like about Dave is that he constantly compares MMA to Pro Wrestling. He just can’t help it … that’s his background, so he’s powerless to resist comparing the two:
There is a business lesson from pro wrestling over the past few years that UFC should heed. WWE increased from 12 to 16 pay-per-view events, and the results of the overexposure were such that they are cutting back to 14 this year. UFC’s current schedule (running major events on Dec. 29, Jan. 19, and Feb. 2) is the type of schedule that caused the WWE base audience to begin to pick and choose between events.
It’s a slippery slope that becomes a difficult rebound. This is not as much a factor to boxing, because few boxing fans buy every show, with most picking and choosing only the big-name fights. UFC, like WWE, sells almost as much on the brand name as the main events, drawing a regular monthly crowd.
The big difference here is that on top of all those PPVs, the WWE does five hours of new television a week, hours of syndicated programming, and several house shows. Quite frankly, the UFC would have to quadruple (or perhaps even octogonize) themselves to even get near the amount of content the WWE is pumping out. If they did, would they then be over saturated? Sure. But as it stands, the UFC is still in a situation where the demand outstrips the supply. That’s the only explanation as to why they’re able to put out shit like UFC78 and still get sales.
I’d say quality suffers before the saturation point, and that’s the real problem. The UFC is in no danger of exceeding the demand for UFC product … but they are having a hard time upping the quantity without the quality suffering. Because of the pace of the events, they’re just not developing enough new stars to stack their PPVs like they used to. The solution? Don’t lower the number of pay per views. Up the number of Fight Nights and other events which don’t rely on a stellar card. Develop the new talent, make your guys fight more often to establish a clearer line of contendership.
Anyways, I just find it funny how the pro wrestling writers are always comparing MMA to pro wrestling. Sure, there’s always paralels to read into when you’re dealing with two companies which deal in the same mediums, but for the most part the comparisons are just stupid.