Nate Marquardt Chael Sonnen UFC photos” src=”http://thebiglead.fantasysportsven.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/nate-marquardt.jpg” alt=” width=”500″ height=”323″ />
(June 26th will be the perfect day to test out our controversial Caine-Hackman-Marquardt Theory.)
Between the suggestions that Spike TV intentionally buried TUF 13 with its earlier time-slot, Dana White’s complaints about the show’s forcibly-shortened season, and the recent reports that the UFC has been negotiating for a new cable parter (or even a channel of its own), we knew that the relationship between the UFC and Spike wasn’t rock-solid these days. But now we’re entering hateful ex-girlfriend territory. From SBNation (via Fightlinker):
Spike TV announced today a 10-hour marathon on Sunday, June 26th, featuring fight cards with UFC middleweight turned welterweight Nate Marquardt. However, the event runs directly parallel to the Marquardt-headlined live event on Versus, UFC on Versus 4…The event culminates with a re-broadcast of UFC Fight Night 22, which was headlined by Nate Marquardt vs. Rousimar Palhares…
Coincidentally, this marathon directly overlaps with a live Marquardt-headlined UFC event on the Versus channel, UFC on Versus 4 from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET. Marquardt faces Rick Story in the main event as part of his welterweight debut…
SB Nation reached out to Spike TV officials for further comment. Specifically, we asked why they would run this marathon to overlap with the UFC’s live show on Versus and why these particular fights of all Marquardt’s UFC fights were selected. “We picked a 10 hour marathon of exciting, hard-hitting , action-packed fights showcasing not only Nate ‘The Great’ – but some of the sport’s biggest names including Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen,” said David Schwarz, Vice President of Communications at Spike TV.
The ‘UFC Live’ shows on Versus — headlined twice by Jon Jones, and once by Diego Sanchez vs. Martin Kampmann — have seen a steady decline in ratings since their debut. Marquardt vs. Story probably isn’t going to bring viewers out in droves on a Sunday night, and Spike’s upcoming Marquardt-athon could cause just enough confusion to push the Versus audience even lower.
It’s not exactly a move you pull when negotiations are still ongoing; Dana White may have told Spike to go fuck themselves one too many times. The weird part is, there’s little incentive for Spike here except the joy in knowing they screwed with somebody they don’t like. That’s how bad things have gotten, I guess. As they say: Live by the counter-programming, die by the counter-programming.