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Don’t run shows during football season: UFC’s TV product can’t consistently compete

By Zach Arnold | November 12, 2017

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I swore I would never become the guy that would watch more than one sports program on multiple television sets. I gave in and now regrettably realize how impossible it is to keep up with everything.

Piercing through the white noise is impossible. There’s just too much going on.

In America, football was on all the major broadcast and cable networks from 12 PM Eastern until Midnight. So many big football brands. The NFL product is cold but College Football is red hot. And during this endless buffet, UFC is running weekly Fox Sports 1 cards. This is not sustainable.

UFC’s Norfolk, Virginia event ran against Alabama/Mississippi State on ESPN and Arizona/Oregon State on ESPN2. There was Miami slaughtering Notre Dame on ABC and Oklahoma trashing TCU on Fox. The Warriors were playing the highly watchable Philadelphia 76ers. And after Alabama vs. Mississippi State, ESPN went right to Top Rank Boxing in Fresno with a totally flying-under-the-radar bombshell: the return of Brian Kenny to ESPN!

How in the hell did ESPN manage to not publicize the return of one of their most prominent voices?

Even better, ESPN poached Brian Kenny and poached Mark Kriegel from Fox. Kenny and Kriegel worked for the Fox broadcasts of Al Haymon’s PBC events. $ignificant to some.

UFC was not only competing against major college football names, they were competing against Top Rank and Combate Americas on both NBC Sports Network & Telemundo. Show results here. The event was from Oasis Arena in Cancun, Mexico with lots of familiar faces. The Spanish commentary was good. The English commentary was no bueno. My head was spinning one minute from Lupe Contreras to Joe Martinez to Matt Brown humiliating Diego Sanchez in what should be a retirement fight for both men.

This is not sustainable for UFC. You can pop a big PPV once during American football season but you cannot build value during such a sports programming avalanche. How can any sports fan remember anything that happened with such information overload?

For UFC’s sake, they need to reconsider their full 24/7, 365 schedule. A mini two-month off-season would do wonders. It would help avoid the clutter. It would help fighters recover from injuries. It would prevent the mad dash of booking someone like Michael Bisping to fight within weeks of getting choked out. Risk management is everything here.

You can only remember so much that happens at one time. UFC’s biggest moment wasn’t even under their control. UFC’s ace (Conor McGregor) showed up in their rival’s cage and played the role of hooligan while Bellator gleefully grabbed the publicity.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 1 Comment » | Permalink | Trackback |

One Response to “Don’t run shows during football season: UFC’s TV product can’t consistently compete”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    What a load of garbage the UFC has become.

    I will still come back for Leaner, GSP, or Edgar big fights. But the organization under the new leadership is truly lost.

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