May 2, 2009

Weekly UFC Content on Spike?

Filed under: Uncategorized — kneebar @ 12:13 pm

Source content:  MMAPayout

Discussion: Michael Rome at Bloody Elbow

This is an interesting bit of speculation/discussion that’s been going on with the UFC and Spike.  Bellator is seeing some good success, with rumors that have been circulating about a future move to ESPN 2 (which would be a welcome move as they could replace some of the spelling bee, poker, replay, and other junk content).  Bellator’s format seems to be working well so far, but my concerns are if they can sustain it long term.  That said, let’s turn our attention to the UFC/Spike possibilities.

There are several ideas being thrown around for weekly content at this time, and there is huge potential to develop brand and sport here.  It should also be pointed out that time slot is critical, for this to really work, midnight probably won’t be a solid slot except for replays, I’m talking primetime through the 11pm hour.

-A show like Inside MMA/MMA Live could be a solid weekly competitor that could deliver news, interviews, analysis, and occasional bonus undercard fights that are unaired from UFC shows.  Audience participation in polling, contests, call/email viewer questions, and so on.

-A weekly fight show such as the Bellator content, Tuesday Night Fights, or Friday Night Fights.  This idea has some logistical challenges like M. Rome mentioned at Bloody Elbow.  Running events with a handful of fights for a weekly show could be a losing proposition, in tougher market conditions fans maybe less likely to buy tickets when there’s  a show every week competing with PPV, WEC, etc.  There’s potential for oversaturation there.  You could bring in top tier stars to make appearances to draw some fans, but not everyone lives in Las Vegas (potential UFC arena homebase and existing corp. HQ).  My idea is to setup monthly tapings that are full UFC fight cards, available on PPV live for a discounted price, that will be assembled for weekly programming.  Think 8 fights being 4 weeks of 1 hour programming.  Casual fans that don’t read Internet content will still get fresh fights every week.

-The UFC could take fight content from PPV undercards/dark matches to create an Unleashed 2.0 with fights being aired on a delay from the PPV such as 2-3 months.  This allows the UFC to utilize revenue streams from their online services for hardcores, journalists, commentators, etc., and feed some fresh content to casual fans on Spike.

I’ve already mentioned the timeslot is critical here, the UFC could occasionally do a new season of TUF as talent pools replenish, and when major PPVs are nearing, they can run the Countdown specials that week to cultivate  interest for the major monthly PPVs.   Ultimate Fight Nights on Spike can continue as desired.

These ideas (just a few) are enough for the UFC to up their content without oversaturating the market or watering down their stable with talent that may not be ready yet.


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