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« | Home | »

He’s back… Bob Meyrowitz

By Zach Arnold | January 4, 2008

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According to a Friday report by Dave Meltzer:

The long-rumored deal between Bob Meyrowitz, the owner of UFC from 1993-2001, and Live Nation, the leading event promoter in North America, has been signed, and the two will be starting a new MMA promotion. More details, including the name, goals, first event and more should be announced within two weeks.

Topics: MMA, Media, Zach Arnold | 12 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

12 Responses to “He’s back… Bob Meyrowitz”

  1. PizzaChef says:

    So goals…

    Make a new organization, piss off government and sporting commissions. Keep losing money each year, then sell to Zuffa. All in 8 years. Good idea.

  2. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Dammit, not another one.

    I can only ignore so many promotions here, guys. You’re watering down my apathy here.

  3. KennyP says:

    Whether or not this is a good idea, don’t forget that Live Nation owns or has booking authority at over 100 facilities around the world. Most of these are amphitheatres or smaller music halls. But among the Live Nation facilities that will now likely book Meyerowitz shows (and be off-limits to other groups) are:

    Wembley Arena (12,700)
    NYC’s Hammerstein Ballroom (3,600)
    Long Beach Arena (13,500)
    Allstate Arena (19,000), fmr Rosemont Horizon
    Atlantic City’s House of Blues (2,300)
    Cleveland’s Plain Dealer Pavilion (5,000), has hosted 3-4 NAAFS events
    San Diego’s Cox Arena (12,000)
    Dublin’s The Point (7,000)
    Mohegan Sun Arena (9,000)
    Kansas City’s Memorial Hall (3,200)
    Albuquerque’s Sandia Casino (2,200)
    Baton Rouge’s Cypress Bayou Casino (1,800)
    Cardiff (Wales) International Arena (7,000)

    Add to that list 50+ outdoor facilities , dozens of 1000-3000 seat theaters/music halls, and 10 House of Blues Clubs.

  4. D. Capitated says:

    I’m sure Dana is really bummed about not being able to run ampitheaters and the House Of Blues in Orlando.

    Seriously though, unless they plan on spending a lot of money very quickly and running all these places, no way are they gonna stop other groups from using them. They’re not gonna turn down money.

  5. David says:

    I agree… a little too late. Plus, BodogEverything already tried to combine fighting and music and, while I love… like… their fight promotion, the music is annoying. Beef Naked? No thanks!

  6. Dedwyre says:

    “Beef Naked”? She’s nowhere near big enough for that name!

    I really have no opinion on the topic at hand. I just felt like pointing out that Bif Naked is skinny and creepy.

  7. cyphron says:

    You can’t challenge the UFC with a bunch of no named organizations. They need to band together and create an uber organization to challenge the UFC hegemony.

    Otherwise, they’ll all end up as feed organizations to the WEC and UFC.

  8. Dave2 says:

    “You can’t challenge the UFC with a bunch of no named organizations. They need to band together and create an uber organization to challenge the UFC hegemony.

    Otherwise, they’ll all end up as feed organizations to the WEC and UFC.”

    You’re right. The MMA landscape seems to be one where you have a top dog in America and a whole bunch of smaller organizations (almost like the territories in pro wrestling) that are way behind.

    K-1 HERO’s in Japan seems content to be at the level they are now so as long as they remain #1 in Japan. and Shooto, DEEP, etc. are content with just operating on a small-level niche like they’ve always done.

    But if K-1 doesn’t step up, then there’s only one company that has the potential to take on the UFC in the long-run. HDNet Fights. Mark Cuban is a billionaire, more dedicated to MMA than Calvin Arye (what a joke he was) would ever be, has an ego (this does help), broadcasts the product on a premium HD channel that he owns (apparently 9 million subscribers. Showtime has 15 and their goal is to catch up to Showtime in a year), hosts fights in an arena that he owns in Dallas, has connections in media and sports, etc.

    HDNet Fights also have partnerships to air MMA events for other promotions. They have about 24 live MMA events set for 2008. This is a brilliant idea because even if they can only produce say 6 of their own events a year, they can use the product of other promotions and stamp it with the HDNet Fights logo. That’s exactly what they did for the IFL GP, Yarennoka! and Sportfight events.

    Mark Cuban’s venture into MMA is similar to Ted Turner’s venture into Pro Wrestling. Except Mark Cuban is more savvy about this thing than Ted Turner is. Cuban is laying down the infrastructure and is building HDNet Fights from the ground-up. He understands that he can’t compete with the UFC head-on, that’s why he’s creating a model that builds stars rather than relying on expensive big names (that will likely have no choice but to be fed cans anyways).

    If Cuban plays his cards right, he has potential. You can’t expect success right away but I think that he’s got the best shot in the industry out of all the smaller shows at the moment. This is the best route right now. If you can’t compete with the UFC on star power, build stars. HDNet Fights should consolidate free agent talent and talent from the other small shows and build them. M-1 Global’s model on the other hand seems to be headed to failure. They put a huge investment in Fedor and the company pretty much revolves around Fedor. This can’t be good unless M-1 Global builds up a decent heavyweight division from what is available.

  9. 1000 Cent says:

    Since Live Nation is funding the project, does that mean we get to be treated to those fine commercials where the announcer proclaims that “kids seats are just $10!”, and “…buys you the whole seat, but you’re only going to need the edge!!!”?

    I for one know my local rock station does a fine job promoting IFL on the radio, almost sounding like “hey, these tickets are sitting here, for the IFL (or as it was refered to at one time ‘that UFC stuff’) at some casino in Connecticut, if your the seventh caller, I’ll give them to you, or you can just stop by the station, and I’ll hand them over. Meh, either way, I could care less”.

    At least with Live Nation, IMO, some corporation will pay a DJ money to sound excited, or fire them on the spot. That may not be a bad thing :D .

  10. Dave2 says:

    Why does Meyrowitz want to get into MMA promotion when he failed miserably 7 years ago? It seems like everyone wants to get into MMA promotion in America even though there’s no evidence of a MMA boom. There is a UFC boom, not an MMA boom. When people see two guys fighting in a cage (maybe the ring too), they’ll say, “oh it’s UFC/ultimate fighting.” More competition is great but Meyrowitz doesn’t have the potential to compete with the UFC. Cuban is the only one at this point who can somewhere down the line.

    How many MMA promotions in America besides Zuffa and King of the Cage (which was recently consolidated by ProElite) can say that they have at least broke even financially?

    There seems to be a lot of barriers to entry in this industry. It’s one thing to put no-name brand tissue paper on the market, some people will buy it because it’s cheaper than Kleenex. But it’s a really hard sell to convince people to go to a small show or pay to see the promotion on television (especially on PPV) Cuban is in the best position to do it and it seems that the IFL will inevitably go under and ProElite will join them eventually. Strikeforce is happy with being a regional NorCal promotion but who knows about their sustainability. M-1 Global is still a big question mark. Bodogfight is a joke.

  11. Dukes says:

    LiveNation = Clear Channel.

    I’m surprised that they would venture into this market. They dumped Howard Stern, attempting to grow their “squeaky clean” Christian right-wing image. It’s kind of a risk for them to get into MMA when much of the mainstream sees it as “human cockfighting”.

  12. Dave2 says:

    Does Clear Channel own only AM radio stadions or both AM and FM?

    Madonna is actually a contracted artist for LiveNation. That alone compromises the “squeaky clean” image they are going for. :D

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