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Tony Reali of ESPN talks MMA

By Zach Arnold | April 22, 2008

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In an interview with Michael David Smith of AOL Fanhouse:

I’m really interested to see how MMA does this year on network TV. My gut tells me we have to get MMA. If somebody asked you 10 years ago would ESPN put poker on you’d have said no. There’s a resistance right now from an older generation, not just at ESPN but my grandfather was a huge boxing fan, I don’t know if he’d be taking to MMA.

I know how Tony and Michael feel, which is that it’s too brutal to put on television. We’ve talked about putting Rampage Jackson on PTI and what happens in the end is they can’t get past the brutality of it. I don’t know that it’s really more brutal than boxing, there are long-term injuries in boxing. I think it’s compelling. When you watch it you can see what the appeal is, and I think it will be a ratings success on network TV.

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

One Response to “Tony Reali of ESPN talks MMA”

  1. Ivan Trembow says:

    There was a segment on ESPN’s newsmagazine “E:60” about a real-life “fight club” that actually started before the “Fight Club” movie came out. Don’t give Gary Shaw any ideas; he might use this for a main event fight.


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