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Here We Go Again: UFC Banned From German TV

(Don’t do it, Paul! Think of all the impressionable German children! Photo courtesy of Fight Magazine.)

Those wacky Germans are at it again, Potato Nation. It wasn’t enough that the UFC had to put up with all manor of ill-informed, reactionary nonsense when they held their first event in Germany last summer. Oh, no. Now they’ve been banned from German TV for the “unacceptable” level of violence in their broadcasts. Since the UFC has been broadcasting on German sports television channel DSF for roughly a year, it seems odd that they’d be banned only now, especially when their programming is completely unchanged. That’s pretty much the exact position of UFC UK president Marshall Zelaznik, who told

“The Bavarian state office for new media has approved UFC programming on DSF twice on separate occasions in the past,” said Zelaznik. “That is why we deem the sudden ban unusual as the content of our programming has not changed. We have also had a commission for youth protection in the media review the situation and they deemed the broadcast legal if televised after 11 p.m.”

So what’s Germany’s problem with MMA, you ask? Well, aside from a vague belief that it will somehow damage the minds of their youth, they also seem really hung up on the whole ‘hitting a man when he’s down’ thing. In its statement explaining the UFC ban, the BLM (which, in German, apparently stands for Bavarian state office for new media) cited certain “breach of taboos” such as “punching a downed opponent.” Also, remember that article from Der Spiegel describing the Brock Lesnar-Randy Couture bout:


Lesnar puts his full weight behind the blow, hitting Couture on his left ear and knocking him to the ground. The ensuing scene is something that raises doubts about Ultimate Fighting’s right to exist.
Lesnar pounces on Couture, kneels over him and starts punching him in the head, doling out 17 blows in a seemingly endless 10 seconds, until the referee finally intervenes. After three minutes and seven seconds, Lesnar wins the fight by technical knockout. He climbs up onto the fence to reap his applause as the new world champion, but the audience boos him instead. Couture is lying on the floor, motionless, looking dead.
Seventeen blows to the head in 10 seconds, blows coming from a barely padded fist — it sounds brutal. In fact, it is brutal, and it raises the question of whether Ultimate Fighting is a sport or simply assault.

Okay, this is where we have to issue Deutschland a collective, C’mon Son! So it’s cool to hit someone in the face when he’s standing up, but once he’s on the ground it becomes assault? I suppose when people get into physical altercations in Germany they cordially wait for a fallen opponent to get back to his feet before they resume beating on him.

Look, fighting on the ground is part of fighting. It’s not going to have some black magic effect on the brains of your citizenry. If they can see a standing person punched in the face without completely disregarding their own ethical code, they can probably deal with seeing Lesnar unload some of his patented masturbation punches on Couture without rioting in the streets. You already have soccer games to facilitate that behavior.

Cagepotato Comments

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dranokills- March 21, 2010 at 9:21 am
Yeti stomp makes me laugh.
For those of you like ME who also think that everyone who was being a bitch about Germany deserves this public flogging, remember it was dumbass yeti who while HE claims he was kidding was one of those knee jerk assholes who was being said bitch.
Funny how he doesn't like being called down cause of it.
I'm sure your so goddamn smart however that everyone naturally forgives I just think you are tool, a very funny tool.
BalkanToni- March 21, 2010 at 6:25 am
Even though I'm a non-native German, I AM disgusted by many of the comments made about Germany ans its population here. It was like watching monkeys throw feces at people in a zoo. Well, at least the German readers remained dignified and didn't resort to the same level of rhetorics.
Til- March 21, 2010 at 3:13 am
some while ago I wrote a pretty stupid reply to an article on this site, with a very dark humored remark to 9/ was deleted immediately.

though I know it was stupid, I don't know why that got deleted and all the comments written here by this dumbshit-I think Europe is a country and I never left my hometown-rednecks don't.

way to go CP.

pr0nflake- March 20, 2010 at 9:52 pm
i've been following this website for over a year now and i must say that the above comments were some of the nastiest and most biased ones i _ever_ read on a mma-themed website. and that's an award you don't obtain that easily.

well done cagepotato, i think you'll be losing the majority of your german followers who read the comments below this article (including my jew-hating, holocaust-denying, overcompensating german naziass) to bloodyelbow and co.

what the fuck guys. seriously.

get the fuck out of my internet.
Yeti Stomp- March 20, 2010 at 8:11 pm
Not a whole lot of content there, little one. Call me an ass all you want. It's probably true. But, to repeat the fact that I'm an extremist idiot and make vague reference to the quality material that others put up before you suggests that you have nothing but your youthful indignation going on for you. Wait around a few years until you've achieved something with yourself, or been forced to give something up. Or, decide what you want to do with yourself after high school.

When you're done all that, reread my little post with an appreciation for ascebic wit, with an understanding that while on the one hand I was acknowledging Germany as an accomplished force in the world (eco-, socio-, industrial as well as military), I was poking fun at the historical significance of what happens when the world, specifically Europe, faces a united Germany in the form of its overenthusiastic censors.

And that, my little fuckwad, is what substantiation looks like. Get yourself an education. Failing that, make sure you're the biggest and hardest guy in the room or things will get ugly for you real soon. And Goddamn you for making me take part in this dipshit flamewar on the internet, you fucking punk.
dranokills- March 20, 2010 at 4:29 pm
qualifying my statement: you Yeti Stomp are an ass.
Justify it: you (Yeti Stomp) are an ass BECAUSE of your statement above about germany, also making you the extremist idiot that I called you before.
Explain it: Yeti Stomp is both and ass, and an extremist idiot for both his statement's to me, and to all the germans.
I think enough smart people have brought enough data to this topic to explain WHY you are both and ASS and extremist idiot, sadly you cannot read or you would have seen it without asking me to provide it for your lazy, stupid, extremist ass.
Is there anything else I can clarify for you yeti stomp? This " newbie" wants to keep with protocol.
Versus Vs IndirectTV- March 20, 2010 at 4:09 pm
David Hasselhoff for Chancellor of Germany!!!
provrorsbarn- March 20, 2010 at 2:49 pm
Germany is a country that is very liberal and allows shitloads of things that are a thousand times more horrible and crazy then MMA.

So i think its a boxing thing. Boxing is huge in Germany and I feel boxing ppl are banning MMA....its weird that they did it so late thats why I feel its a business thing....
Meohfumado- March 20, 2010 at 1:38 pm
To quote Southpark, "What the fuck is wrong with German people?!?!'

Yeti Stomp- March 20, 2010 at 1:31 pm
drano - you gotta have more than a week on here before you can start insulting people. Also, think about qualifying your statement a little bit. That means justify it. Explain it. Provide some data to support your position. Either bring something to the table or fuck off.
dranokills- March 20, 2010 at 10:37 am
extremist idiot.
Yeti Stomp- March 20, 2010 at 9:27 am
Blah-de-blah, people. What everyone has overlooked so far in the discussion is the most obvious point of all:

German censors block this type of content for the safety of all other people in the world. It's a miracle they haven't smoked one of their neighbors since reuiniting into a single country again.

This type of content is censored in Germany because, let's face it, they are a pot that is just DYING for a chance to boil over, get out of control and wreak some havoc all over the place.

After being at the root of two world wars, other high-thinking minds recognized this fact. This explains why Germany is still under strict limitations today regarding how many soldiers they are allowed to have, where these soldiers go and what they are allowed to do. Certainly not engage in combat, not even in Afghanistan. This is first hand knowledge, btw.

This military model is symbolic of the whole country, since a German civilian is no less a German than one of their soldiers. It's understood that the population at large needs to be kept under tight controls at all time. We will release those controls at our own peril.

The alternative is WWIII, which would make this whole "War on Terror" thing look like a fuckin' practice drill, nein?
Username- March 20, 2010 at 9:02 am
You gotta be ashamed for having some of the above comments on your website, right?

But to clear things up:
1. At least we can drink beer in the street from the age of 16, so "talk all the shit you want, m*fu**er"
2. MMA exists in Germany as a sport (although the scene is really small) only ufc is banned from tv apparently and DSF is a crappy channell that nobody watches anyway really...
3. yes, the "F" in DSF does stand for the Fuhrer
BalkanToni- March 20, 2010 at 8:10 am
That would explain why Eurosport never got in trouble for broadcasting Pride (the ommentary of which was even more abyssmal) - they're not based in Bavaria, right?
Ascerendant- March 20, 2010 at 2:01 am
I'll just try to ignore all the unbelievably inappropriate holocaust-stuff and say this: Please differentiate between the BLM and "the germans", potato-bens. What happened is this: The BLM is an agency in bavaria - probably the most conservative of all our states within germany. Every TV station that is based in bavaria (like, unfortunately, DSF) has to get licensed by them. After that they are not supposed to intervene anymore. They actually have no right to interfere with programming.

Now, for over a year, the UFC broadcast has been a provocation to all the censorship-loving guys in bavaria, especially in the BLM (and yes, it is true we have a huge issue with our youth-protection laws which prompt de-facto-censorhip (although legally it is not considered such because it can not be applied before a medium is published, only after)). They have tried for months to get the UFC broadcast stopped. So this is not a case of "Oh, after a year they suddenly decide to ban it?". They've been at it for a long time - something you can also take away from the statement by Marshall Zelaznik.

The "problem" was this: we have rating bureaus in germany that decide wether or not a programm is fit for broadcast and during which time of day. Once your programming has such a rating, it is legal to broadcast during the appointed time and this right is basically irrevocable. The DSF applied for and was granted a rating, so the BLM's hands were tied in the matter. To get rid of the UFC on german tv, they now pulled a stunt where they threaten to revoke the DSFs entire broadcast license unless they remove the UFC from their programming (their official press release makes it sound like they have only revoked the license for the UFC broadcast but the BLM has actually no right to interfere with programming here in germany. They could only puill the entire theory). To argue this unparalleled action they resort to the bavarian (!) constitution. More precisely: their interpretation of it. They just assume that hitting a downed opponent is a violation of the statutes regarding human dignity. This is quite obviously bullshit for two reasons: the rating board had cleared the UFC for broadcast. They could and would not have done so if the programming had been violating this constitutional right that is the most central part of the german and bavarian constitutions alike. Second: numerous UFC-DVDs have been cleared by different age-rating agencies who also could not have done so, was this true. It is an arbitrary interpretation by the BLM to justify a legally baseless threat against the DSF to get their will in this matter. Unless the DSF has to play nice with the BLM for different reasons, they will pursue this in court and win.

That being said: the german commentary sucks anyway. I always end up buying the PPV anyway because I dont't want a weeks delay and DO want Goldie and Rogan.

So please: this is not "germany", this is a bunch of old guys in suits that unfortunatley have been sitting in a place of power for too long and now think they can get away with this kind of shit. I'm sure you have that in the US, UK or wherever you are from as well. It is true that public opinion over here is still "getting there". But hey, I hear MMA is not legalized in all of your states as well, USA.
Komodo- March 19, 2010 at 11:09 pm
In a very broad and obviously misshapen sense... the irony here is overwhelming.
robthom- March 19, 2010 at 9:44 pm
Shamwow is a godsend!

From god, to German people, to the rest of us apparently.

(Maybe them Irishmen can use a little shamwow for getting that country back one of these days?)
fiveforfive- March 19, 2010 at 9:38 pm
But germans produce the most traumatizing porn this side of the japanese border AND show that shit on PBS.
ghostboner- March 19, 2010 at 9:30 pm
I don't think the Klitschko bros are from germany, Haselhoff IS a haircut away from being Jesus, German = Nazi is not entirely accurate, and furthermore, Germany might suck a big huge fat donkey cock but, uh, at least they have healthcare!
BryanF- March 19, 2010 at 7:37 pm
Such short memories you all have...let us not forget that it was Germany that gave us the ShamWow. Therefore, all is forgiven!
robthom- March 19, 2010 at 7:03 pm
I might be wrong.

Sometimes people do whatever politicians tell them to because they're born/trained stupid.

Chicken and eggs is hard to figure by the time it all comes crashing down.
rearnakedchickenchoke- March 19, 2010 at 6:09 pm
If you tell them that the fighters are robots and color all the blood black and say it's oil, it should be just fine. At least it worked for the video game industry.

(no joke)
BFG- March 19, 2010 at 6:04 pm
it makes sense why they are banning the UFC. jews died before they hit the ground
BEAM- March 19, 2010 at 5:40 pm
"Bavarian state office for new media"

That alone made my head spin.

Think the bureaucracy in America has gotten out of control? You have no idea.

This entire episode is basically about a bunch of government employees banning something to justify their government paycheck.
LetMeStickItInYourRua- March 19, 2010 at 5:20 pm
To be fair every Jew every killed during the Holocaust was done so while standing. If they fell they were allowed to get back up before they were shot again. Hitler himself once dropped a lowly Jewish man and allowed him to stand before trouncing him again.

*Note* The above statement isn't historically accurate.