On the surface, it should be kinda obvious that the UFC doesn’t want EliteXC to succeed with it’s network deal … Dana White would rather perform self-dentistry with a garden pruner than wish his competition well. But when you think about it, would it really help the UFC all that much if EliteXC crashes and burns with it’s first CBS deal?
You’ve already got companies like Golden Boy backing off MMA citing the poor performance of publicly traded companies like the IFL and ProElite. While the UFC likes to make the argument that it’s them and not MMA which is hot, will mainstream media digest that properly or will they look at a failed CBS show as a sign the ‘trend’ of MMA is now moving downward?
It’s not just important for the UFC to BE successful, they need to keep convincing the media that they are successful, that MMA is still hot, that it’s still growing. For the most part a lot of outlets only cover MMA reluctantly because they don’t want to seem behind the times if the sport does end up becoming mainstream. If there are signs that the sport is on the outs, I don’t doubt these same people will dump the sport onto the backburner once again, only to be covered by other bored sports writers on their respective off-seasons.
Anyways, the original point of this post was to talk about how the UFC is counter-programming shit against the EliteXC CBS show on May 31st – two hours worth of Chuck Liddell. Now I can’t imagine this scheme taking away any hardcore viewers, but of course no one is ever doing anything for the hardcores … the UFC is trying to dent viewership with mainstream Joes who might rather watch a fighter they know like Chuck than some event with people they’ve never heard of. It’s not a bad idea, if the purpose is to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back ratings wise for CBS.
But that brings us back to my original question: is it really in the UFC’s best interest for EliteXC to flunk out on their first show? I think we’ll all agree it’s not in the best interest of the sport. It’s kinda funny that what’s best for the sport is no longer always what’s best for the UFC. Strange times to be a fan, fo’ sure.