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« | Home | »

UFC 95 draws 1.6 cable rating

By Zach Arnold | February 24, 2009

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Not bad for a main event with Diego Sanchez vs. Joe Stevenson. Check out UFC’s ratings over the last six months on Spike TV. Nothing to sneeze at. Here’s the press release from Spike TV on UFC 95 ratings.

Glad to see that HGH InFusion had 1.6 million eyeballs watching their sponsorship of Dan Hardy pay off without any media criticism in MMA circles. Because, you know, nobody in the general sports media would have said anything if a baseball player had wiped sweat off his face during a Home Run Derby contest with a towel saying “Signature Pharmacy, get your HGH InFusion here”… or if a basketball player had a “powered by HGH InFusion” logo on his jersey during the Slam Dunk Contest…

Way to step up your game, MMA media.

Addendum: I find the reaction to the non-coverage to be interesting. This is not a case of manufacturing a scandal. What it is a case, however, is highlighting the hypocrisy and selective outrage that sports fans have when it comes to athletes taking performance-enhancers (as far as which ones should get villified and which ones people determine to be sob stories.)

We came off a week where the sports media was absolutely hysterical about Alex Rodriguez and steroids. If any athlete from one of the ‘major’ US sports or in soccer was sponsored by a company with HGH in the name, that athlete would have been crucified. However, because MMA is still under the radar of so many in the broadsheet sports media, incidents like this with Hardy go unnoticed. Therefore, the onus should be on the people actually covering the business. The MMA media. And what have we gotten so far? Predictably, crickets. Silence.

What fan watching at home seeing a fighter with a “HGH” sponsor is going to sit there and think, “That’s fake HGH!” Of course not. The message being sent here, by the media and by those in the business, is that the issue of performance-enhancers really doesn’t matter. When a fighter fails a steroid test, everyone starts screaming, “That’s deplorable!” Yet, we have a fighter who is sponsored by an “HGH” product, and nobody says a word. Selective outrage. And hypocrisy at its worst.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, UK, Zach Arnold | 23 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

23 Responses to “UFC 95 draws 1.6 cable rating”

  1. ttt says:

    being from canada, i was lucky enough to watch the event live at 3PM in HD. but the channel sportsnet also showed the fights again at 9PM.

    anyone know why spike won’t show the fights live? can’t imagine any of their pre-existing “programming” getting in the way

  2. samscaff says:

    Zach, you know I’m a major supporter of your site and your insight, but criticizing the MMA media for not picking up this non-story about Dan Hardy? Come on.

    First of all, the guy is a COMPLETE no-name, he’s not American, and no one (except you and a few others) even noticed this ad on his trunks. Furthermore, no one in any media circles associate MMA with class. Certainly not like other professional sports. And I’ll tell you its not because of HGH ads, its because its professional streetfighting.

    MMA is not the MLB or NBA, UFC 95 is certainly not the all-star game, and Dan Hardy is not even a minor-league star.

  3. Rollo the Cat says:

    Zach,

    I hope you are just joking about all this HGH stuff.

    Oh BTW, Akiyama to the UFC. According to UFC.com. Sponsored by Jergens.

  4. Pontus says:

    UFC has signed Akiyama will this mean that a UFC Japan is in the works?

  5. Ivan Trembow says:

    Zach is right. The lack of coverage of this has been a disgrace.

    samscaff— Dan Hardy is “a COMPLETE no-name”? He was just in the semi-main-event (second from the top) of a UFC event. Even if he was a complete no-name prelim fighter, he’s still a UFC fighter and that makes it the job of the people whose full-time job is to cover the UFC to report on it when he has the letters of a banned substance plainly visible and prominently displayed on his advertising banner.

  6. Steve says:

    I don’t see the problem with them advertising a legal product on a program that hits the demographic the supplement maker wants to target.

    Plenty of sports get sponsored by alcohol. No athlete would be allowed to compete drunk. I remember seeing shooting products sponsoring Matt Hughes. Did anyone think that it was inappropriate to bring the concept of firearms into the cage? Of course not.

    I feel that Zachs’ (and you too Ivan)past(and present) love affair with pro wrestling has left both of you guys infatuated with scandal. It seems you want people to be up in arms all the time about some issue or other. Is it because you miss the storylines that PW supplied?

    I love both of your work and enjoy the inside info, but we really don’t need to be told when to be outraged guys, please.

  7. Michaelthebox says:

    You’re still flipping out over the HGH thing, even though its since been shown that its a junk product?

    Jeez.

  8. Ivan Trembow says:

    What if a fighter was sponsored by an anabolic steroid distributor that happened to sell a junk product? How about a junk supplement called “EPO Explosion”? Steroids, EPO, and HGH are all banned substances.

    Also, alcohol is a banned substance for a fighter to be using in close proximity to a fight. Steroids, HGH, EPO, etc. are banned substances for a fighter at any time.

    It still has “HGH” in the name. As someone said in the other thread, if you had a new brand of energy drink that was called “Cocaine,” I don’t thnk we would be seeing that as a sponsor of fighters.

  9. Rollo the Cat says:

    ” if you had a new brand of energy drink that was called “Cocaine,” I don’t thnk we would be seeing that as a sponsor of fighters.”

    Do you know why Coca-Cola is called COCA-Cola? Or COKE? Should we ban Coke as a sponsor of athletes?

    MAybe one reason no one has picked this up is because they understand it is going NOWHERE. Going nowhere because it is NOT HGH.

  10. Steve says:

    Zach, I will admit selective outrage, as I am quite a tolerant person.

    I will not accept the charge of hipocrasy though, because I beleive pro athletes should be allowed to used steroid under doctors supervision to heal injuries and get back to work. Just as thousands of other workers do every day.

    If you are an MMA fighter juicing to get big, you are an idiot.

    I don’t think that hysterics over HGH/steroids do our sport any good whatsoever.

    Lol sorry for spelling.

  11. Michaelthebox says:

    Its not HGH.

    Although I understand your argument. Affliction was banned for promoting illness.

  12. Joseph says:

    Zach and Ivan,

    I hope you guys are all learning the truth now, that people will blow up things like “scandals” when it benefits them the most, in MMA’s case, PRIDE, EliteXC, Affliction, anyone who is a competitor to the UFC, really.

    When there is a potential scandal dealing with the UFC, the fans and media will find an excuse for it not to be a big deal, and will accuse you guys of manufacturing stories.

    Bottom line, people are protecting the UFC and let them slide. MMA fans (in this case, UFC fans) are quite fanboy’ish and hypocritical to what their standards are just to get what they want, and yes, the posters use you guys sometimes as vehicles to make a potential non-story a story to negatively impact other promotions.

    In this case, no one is caring to take it seriously, leaving you guys with nothing to work with, because in reality, you need them for this to be a story. You think they would let something like this slide if it was Affliction? Affliction would already be crucified for being the dirtiest scum on earth.

  13. Ivan Trembow says:

    I think the “HGH Infusion is not HGH” crowd is ignoring how HGH Infusion is marketed. It says right on their home page (you know, the one that people might go to after seeing the HGH Infusion logo on a fighter) that HGH Infusion contains “the highest grade growth hormone available.”

    The first question in their FAQ is “What is HGH – Human Growth Hormone?”

    There’s also the fact that growth hormones of any kind are banned by all major athletic commissions, including those in Nevada, California, and New Jersey. Since we’ve had fighters testing positive for horse steroids (Stephan Bonnar, Phil Baroni, and others), there could be fighters taking horse growth hormones as well, and those would be just as illegal as any other kind of growth hormone.

  14. Ivan Trembow says:

    Speaking of hypocrisy: “Okami was going to fight for the belt at UFC 90 in Chicago, but he was injured and had to withdraw. As a result, several men have passed him in the rankings. Does he deserve a title shot more than Demian Maia, who is undefeated and has had a Submission of the Night in each of his last four UFC appearances? Does he deserve it more than Nate Marquardt, who is one of the game’s most improved fighters? I’m not so sure he does. He’s in the mix, but he’s going to have to win more impressively than he did against Dean Lister at UFC 92 to force the UFC’s hand.”

  15. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    In the absence of actual information to the contrary, I’m going to just assume that Anderson Silva has been ducking Okami, because it makes for a better story than this conspiracy crap you guys keep spinning.

    Cocaine is a very real energy drink:
    http://www.reduxdirect.com/shop/cart.php?m=splash

    And I’m willing to bet that UFC fighters would kill to have Schering-Plough’s logo on their asses. Or, they would, if they knew who they were. I bet GSP’s management company knows who they are.

  16. Ivan Trembow says:

    It doesn’t take a conpiracy for an MMA promotion to not give a title shot to a fighter who deserves one if this sport is truly about “the best fighting the best.”

  17. Rollo the Cat says:

    “It doesn’t take a conpiracy for an MMA promotion to not give a title shot to a fighter who deserves one if this sport is truly about “the best fighting the best.””

    Well thank God for conspiracies then. I hope Okami never gets a title shot. It seems the conspiracy is on your part, trying to screw up the UFC by giving Okami anything other than a match on the prelims. besides, he hasn’t beaten the quality of competitors that others have.

    You still miss the point about HGH infusion when you say,

    “There’s also the fact that growth hormones of any kind are banned by all major athletic commissions,”

    IT ISN’T GROWTH HORMONE! How many freaking times does someone have to explain this to your sorry ass until your pathetic brain registers the fact?

  18. Matthew says:

    HGH InFusion may not be REAL hgh, but they market the product like it is. What percentage of the casual fans know that HGH InFusion is bunk? That is what matters.

  19. Joseph says:

    Rollo,

    You are a moron.
    That is all.

  20. Mr Roadblock says:

    HGHinfusion advertises on ESPN radio. In vegas a couple of the hosts talk about using it. I’m just assuming you guys have nothing better to do or write about. The product is legal and even a cursory investigation into reveals it isn’t human growth hormone and that it is snake oil. There is no difference between that or the BSN junk being promoted by Zuffa.

    If you really want to get your panties in a bunch on some puritanical rant get on UFC for Bud Light and Cazadores.

    PS for years Coca-Cola did contain cocaine. That is where the name comes from.

  21. The Gaijin says:

    For those of the “it’s not HGH”, “it’s a legal product”, “Coca-Cola used to contain cocaine (back in the early 1900’s when it was still legal and used for medicinal purposes)”….

    Talk about ENTIRELY missing the point.

  22. Mr Roadblock says:

    What is the point then? That this site is becoming a pro wrestling dirt sheet full of negativity? This used to be the best MMA news and analysis site. I still read it daily but don’t like the negative slant.

  23. Andrew Garvey says:

    I watched the show and didn’t notice the sponsor and without seeing the hysrterical reaction on this site I’d never have known this ‘story’ even existed.

    If you’re going to get your knickers in a twist about HGHinfusion then why not rant and rave about every other bullshit supplement on the market that promises the world and delivers nothing?

    Zach Arnold’s anti-UFC obsession is becoming about as tiresome as Eddie Goldman’s embarrassing schtick.

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