If I were a Fertitta brother and I owned the UFC, then this morning I would have been very unhappy with the promotion’s president and perennial frontman, Dana White.
Last night’s “SBV’s” broadcast of a full evening of Bellator, which was kicked-off with the inaugural rounds of the promotion’s latest fight series and then followed up by the debut episode of their new reality show called “Fight Master”, was an un-abashed success.
Regarding the success of last night’s shows and in particular Fight Master and the UFC’s lack of counter programming through the week to combat SBV’s new programming, I think it’s fair to ask the question, where was Dana on this one?
One hot-topic of conversation in the boardroom today (for me), would have been the subject of Chuck Liddell’s appearance (in a “Miller Lite” commercial) during the SBV broadcast. To put it bluntly, how is it possible that the Vice President of Business Development for the UFC came to be in that show last night?
From a marketing point-of-view it was a complete fail.
The UFC cannot allow or permit a high-profile member of its staff to play any role in an SBV event and that includes (any) 3rd party commercial appearances. Dana needs to address this issue and rectify it immediately and to do it in such a manner as to ensure that it never happens again. On this subject, the UFC / White have completely dropped the ball.
The next topic of conversation would be about Randy Couture and Greg Jackson and their participation in Fight Master and how it is that the UFC couldn’t do a deal with the 2, where SBV could? Direct question to Dana, did your personal feelings and abrasive (situational) management style regarding these 2 (UFC built) marquee names prevent the promotion from doing a deal with either or both of them?
Further and on Jackson particularly, one would (now) think that the smart business move and appropriate response for the UFC, would be to ban Greg (professionally) from all UFC events. As with Couture, Jackson now works for the competition and I think the promotion would be well within its purview to ban him. I would deem that reasonable in a business sense.
Regarding Fight Master itself and comparing it to TUF, I believe that FM walks away with it and handily. It’s just a better show right across the board, particularly regarding its format and production values. If true, then what’s Dana’s game-plane for updating TUF’s stale style and ridding the show of its dreariness?
As a final criticism, I believe it was a poor marketing decision on behalf of the UFC to promote a “yawn” PPV event (UFC 161) just 4 days prior to SBV launching their new free package and even then, as the only counter-programming which they offered for the week. IMO and given the current MMA landscape, UFC 161 should have been a free telecast. It certainly wasn’t worth $50.
Concluding, I believe SBV scored a big win last night and it even came with a beautiful KO (King Mo Lawal) punch to lead-into their Fight Master debut. All in all, if the options in the room were TUF or Fight Master, I’d vote for Fight Master and give TUF a pass.
The production heads over at SBV should be pleased with themselves, today and DW and company should be rolling up their sleeves and figuring out how they’re going to get their reality TV show turf back.
So those are my thoughts on last night’s SBV shows, what are yours?
Do you feel that Fight Master is a better show and format then TUF and has the UFC ceded ground to SBV regarding the reality show and the fight genre? Was Dana asleep at the switch, on this one?