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« | Home | »

Tuesday news wire

By Zach Arnold | November 14, 2006

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This post last updated at 12:07 AM EST.

A lot of news stories and articles today. Take 5-10 minutes out of your busy schedule to read the various links and analysis. Then come back here and write your feedback.

Hint: Dana White responds to the new Showtime deal with JD Penn.

Update: The TUF Finale last Saturday night for UFC drew a 1.06 US cable rating. I had predicted a 1.2 rating, and even then I thought it might have been low. On the NSAC’s show results page, you’ll notice that Gene LeBell’s name is listed as a visiting judge for this show.

  1. Los Angeles Times: Showtime forms circuit for fighting

    UFC President Dana White said Showtime’s involvement in mixed martial arts is “funny.”

    “I talked to Showtime five years ago and they hated it,” White said. “It’s always driven me crazy how people in the TV business are so unoriginal, and when something is hot they all try to jump in…. Based on UFC’s success, get ready for a million more washed-up boxing promoters and unoriginal TV networks to try and jump on board.”

  2. Honolulu Advertiser: Showtime signs Hilo martial arts group
  3. Inland Daily Bulletin: Cage fighting (Fist of Fury II) could bring 2,000 to Ontario Convention Center
  4. The Bellingham Herald: Bellingham’s “Rudy” packs quite a punch (article about Sally Krumdiack fighting at HOOK ‘n SHOOT event this Saturday in Evansville, Indiana)
  5. The Fight Network: GSP clothing line available at
  6. Sherdog (Jake Rossen): Ten things that need to change in MMA
  7. UFC HP: Jeff Monson keeping things in perspective before the big fight
  8. NHB News: PRIDE President Nobuyuki Sakakibara has written a book (release date is next month) (telling his side of the story on topics including Fuji TV canceling PRIDE, his problems with Antonio Inoki in 2003, Sakuraba’s departure to HERO’s, trying to acquire Mike Tyson, and other “taboos” of the fight business)
  9. Eddie Goldman: Newest edition of No Holds Barred features Randy Couture, Ken Shamrock, and Gareb Shamus
  10. Orange County Register: UFC 65 “Bad Intentions” preview
  11. NHB News/Tatame: The next MARS Japan MMA show scheduled for 12/22 at Yokohama Bunka Gym
  12. David Loiseau: UFC cuts him from the roster
  13. Ground and Pound: Carlos Condit interview

BJ Penn’s Commitment to the UFC and Regaining His Title

With all that recent press about my brother, JD, and his recent business decision, I want all my fans to know that I am committed to the ufc and to carrying out my dream of regaining the title of UFC Welterweight Champion of the World. See you all at the UFC.

BJ Penn

Topics: All Topics, Media, MMA, Zach Arnold | 21 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

21 Responses to “Tuesday news wire”

  1. ZDL says:

    “Based on UFC’s success, get ready for a million more washed-up boxing promoters and unoriginal TV networks to try and jump on board.”

    LOL. Dana White brings the unintentional comedy. I guess he forgot about his entire career pre-TUF.

  2. There is no denying that pre-TUF, tv networks weren’t interested in jumping on MMA … it’s still a very slow transition because execs ARE stupid and they don’t realize there’s a huge demand for this kind of product on free TV. Look at the IFL and Pride highlight show and the non-existant push they get from their network. It’s a travesty that sports channels show more poker, darts, and bowling than combat sports. Then again, look forward to nothing but non-stop network interferance once they finally open the door a bit, not showing full fights, editing violence out of fights and other acts that will make their products tank.

    Overall, it’s going to be another 3-5 years before networks get their heads out of their asses and are able to create the kind of conditions needed for any MMA organization to effectively compete against the UFC as anything other than in a much smaller fish capacity.

    This Showtime deal is interesting, but I don’t see there being much behind it right now. RotR is a decent product but not much different than dozens of other MMA organizations across America. Unless things develop with these rumours about K1 etc, I can’t see this being anything but another network dipping it’s pinky toe in the water when they really need a foot in there to do anything effective.

  3. Zach Arnold says:

    I do agree with Dana in the sense that there is a real danger that the American marketplace is becoming oversaturated fast.

    What makes it more interesting is that the trends in Japan are showing somewhat of a decline, meaning Europe really is the next untapped market. Canada actually as well. Brazil, too.

    I think there’s room for more MMA, but whoever decides to jump into the business pool needs to take a global approach to this. America is fine to start-up in, but I’d actually prefer Brazil as a starting point right now. Big population, growing country gaining more attention as a world power, loyal fans, good history, etc.

  4. ZDL says:

    The problem with Dana White taking some sort of stance about his place in the industry is that 6 years ago he was a failed boxing promoter teaching cardio kickboxing courses in Vegas. The last thing he needs to do is start actively challenging folks like Arum or King, whom are worth just as much money as his backers, and double as promotional legends.

  5. I dunno, the pie is just so much larger in North America … while it may not have as high a population as Europe or the Asias, it spends more on entertainment than the others combined. Also note that one of North America’s largest exports is culture : succeed in America and it paves the way to work in other markets. You’re already seeing Pride struggle to become known in North America dispite it’s status in Japan, and I’m sure any organization that emerges from South America would have just as hard of a time. Any company that wants to succeed in North America has to strike fast and hard, creating a supercard and airing it on a major network which is ready to push that event like the Superbowl of MMA.

    Personally (and I’m sure i’ll open myself up for some attacks here) I’m happy with how the UFC is developing. While on one hand you see them trying to crush some opponents, you also see them working with several other ‘minor league’ companies. It’s my hope that if the UFC gets large enough and continues it’s dominance we’ll simply see it less as a specific promotion company and more like the head of a ‘league’ of organizations, where lower level fighters rise through the different promotions up to the UFC. Say what you will of one company controlling the sport, but I’d rather have that than what’s happened to boxing.

  6. Zack says:

    “RotR is a decent product but not much different than dozens of other MMA organizations across America.”

    Wrong. ROTR has brought in top notch foreign talent and is not opposed to having a relationship with another organization. Imagine what would happen if they merged with Pride, K-1 Heros, Bodog, World Fighter, or even the WFA (if they make it to 2007.)

    I don’t think the Showtime news is as big as some make it out to be, because I think if you’re going to build a brand it needs to be on free TV. If someone landed on USA in a 9pm timeslot, now THAT would be huge.

  7. Preach says:

    Another link to add!

    The guy that did “The Contender” branches out, producing “The Contender: Muay Thai”…

    And fightlinker, i wouldn’t say that the market is bigger in north america than that of all european countries combined. Germany is the second biggest market worldwide when it comes to entertainment (right after the USA). Almost 90 million inhabitants, around 100 tv-stations and a few hundred radio-stations (and don’t forget that they’re all available in all the german-speaking countries, such as Luxemburg, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland too), many great venues to hold shows in, and of course it’s close to the big K1 markets such as France and the Netherlands.

    Even though the sport’s still mostly seen as human cockfights – with enough promotion and raising the public awareness MMA could really boom over here.

  8. Preach : How many german tv shows, musicians, movies, etc do you know of that are big in America, and how many American tv shows, musicians, movies, etc are shown in Germany? America has a much stronger cultural hold over the entire world. If you’re going to be a global competitor, you HAVE to exist in America.

    As for RotR having brought in bigger names, I haven’t seen anything bigger than what Strikeforce, WFA, IFL have done. Again, it’s going to take a major network stepping up with a competing product. Or *shudder* WWE monkeys and other freakshow athletes.

  9. Royal B. says:

    If you look at UFC 65 and 66, you got at least 6 ROTR guys. One in a title run, one heading to the title run after one more match and one major lightweight name.

  10. okeishi says:

    I really don’t think that the american market is as necessary for sports as you make it out to be. NFL, MLB, NBA, there really aren’t international entities. If mma is going to become big in foriegn markets its going to be for its athletic value and international representation in fighters rather than it being an american cultural export. look at mma’s growth in croatia for example. honestly, the sport would be nowhere close to where it is in the us and japan without both countries strong participation. the american market is almost irrelevant towards international expansion since mma is not an american product, it will become the product of any country that accepts it.

  11. Mr. Roadblock says:

    Take Soccer for example. Multiple soccer leagues thrive in every European country. Americans could care less about the sport. Same with F-1 racing and cricket. One or several MMA companies could make Europe their primary market and do ancillary PPV sales in the U.S. for hardcore fans.

  12. Royal B. says:

    Pull back on F-1 roadie. It’s more of a super patriotic ad campain that NASCAR is running that’s holding F-1 down. I do think F-1 and NASCAR can coinside (pardon the spelling), but what is going on is that the marketing of NASCAR isn’t about the joy of speed and inginuity. It’s about apple pie and USA.

    *EDIT to cut out rant*

    The hate for F-1 is the side effect of NASCAR’s PR campain. Not because it’s racing, but because it isn’t American.

    sorry. disgruntiled motorsports fan here.

  13. MMA T-Shirts says:

    “Europe” doesnt really exist as a market, to be honest. You cant crack “Europe” like you can crack the US for example… I put it in inverted commas because it is more of an economic entity rather than a socio-cultural one and some people on here are talking about it like everywhere in Europe is basically the same – like Europe exists as a defineable place.

    If an org wanted to make Europe their home and ‘crack it’, they would have to start from scratch in every country. There simply isnt any crossover whatsoever between countries and quite frankly most coutries dont like eachother much, let alone follow eachother’s cultural trends.

    A company needs to be a brand name BEFORE it tries to become a success over here (Europe), otherwise they will be nothing more than a regional entity, a la Cage Rage or 2H2H or one of the Eastern Block promotions.

    If you want to be relatively smallfry, start wherever you like. If you want to be a big dog, you might as well start in America… To be honest I think the IFL will grow and eventually compete as a BIG brand name in MMA. Anyone trying to go down the PPV / infrequent events route will fail or have to stay relatively regional and or small.

    The reason I think the IFL will succeed is basically the sheer volume of exposure I think they will get in the long run. If they keep a regular TV deal and familiar production for each show, people will get into the habbit of watching… They obviously have scheduling problems but I think that will be sorted soon / eventually and they will see improvements.

  14. keith champagne says:

    I’d love to read Mr. Sakakibara’s book, I really would. I’d imagine the odds of a translated version are about as slim as Rickson fighting Fedor though.

  15. ZDL says:

    F1 doesn’t have major fan support in America because there aren’t any American drivers and the series, frankly, hasn’t been exciting. Plus its impossible for most people to get into something that only shows up once a year. Soccer gets a great bump from the World Cup stateside, but even then, that’s only once every 4 years.

    MMA running multiple “federations” or promotional organizations is bound to happen when people are amped up to see someone fight without organizational attachment. If Tito beat Liddell and walked out of UFC the next day to start working with HBO or another major broadcast/cable network, that’s exactly what it would take. But until that sort of thing won’t happen for years.

    As for Showtime not being helpful, uhh, this is the same network that televised all of Mike Tyson’s non PPV bouts for the last decade. They have wide enough viewership and enough cache in the entertainment world that having a product on their channel means a lot more than it would almost anywhere other than ESPN, HBO, or one of the big 4.

  16. Zack says:

    We should build up a paypal fund for Zach Arnold to translate the Sakikabara book for us.

  17. Zach Arnold says:

    We should build up a paypal fund for Zach Arnold to translate the Sakikabara book for us.

    Surely that would mean that I would have to have some knowledge of Japanese. *looks around* OK, all kidding aside, if the book is available and easy to get in Japan next month, I’ll get it for sure.

  18. Royal B. says:


    While I do understand what you’re saying, I must say that unlike Soccer, F1 was never given a chance in the US. I do recall an incident where they were having a race in Colo. and most the racers couldn’t do time trials because Goodyear gave them defective tires. They asked for speed barriers for some of the turns, but the owners of the track wouldn’t budge. So there was no race. Later on, the track owners lambasted F1 for robbing them of a race and would never support them again. That’s how bad it’s become.

    I’m sorry to derail the comment section folks, but some facts need to be said.

    Again, I’m sorry.

  19. Mr. Roadblock says:

    Judo Gene should definitely help to educate those Nevada judges about what is happening when two guys are grappling. It seems odd to have a guy who trains one of the promotion’s top fighters (Karo Parysian) be a judge though. Seems like a conflict of interest. You wouldn’t let Emmanule Stewart be a boxing judge. So maybe Gene’s just in there as an advisory role.

  20. kaku says:

    hello zach, actually i was invited by my friend who starts up own mma podcast. one of first in japan — podcasts here are sort of behind what is in u.s.a. he says he also wants american perspective maybe occasionally. anyway i gave him your email address, maybe he will contact you? you could give good point of view. of course, whole podcast is in japanese. i hope you could be interested.

  21. ZDL says:

    The race in question is at Indianapolis Motor Speedway just over two years ago. It was a massive gaffe on the part of Michelin. However, attendance had already fallen somewhat compared to the first two USGPs held at Indy. Its not as if its the first time FIA ran the US: There were disasterous races in the US back in the 1980s when they left Watkins Glen and moved to such fantastic locations as the parking lot of Caesar’s Palace and downtown Phoenix Arizona. Attendance was putrid and easily dwarfed by what CART was measuring in those days. It didn’t help any that F1 only had one US driver for most of that stretch (Eddie Cheever).

    Putting on lousy events, having boring racing (effectively, only Renault and Ferrari’s lead cars ever have a reasonable chance at winning) with no overtaking, running mediocre racetracks now increasingly void of personality (Bahrain and Turkey being excellent examples), a total lack of local talent, and the fact that F1 ignored the American market for over a decade doesn’t help matters. Speed and CBS alone aren’t going to make up this gulf in interest. There’s honestly more interest in WRC stateside (particularly with the addition of Rally to the X Games) than there is in F1.


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