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21 Humans Who Make Being Human Look Really, Really Hard

Tag: Fox

The ‘FOX Boost’ Is a Myth: There’s No Formula to Create New UFC Stars


(Benson Henderson peers warily at the buyrate for UFC 164. / Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

By Matt Saccaro

Congratulations are in order for FOX and the UFC. They took a terrible draw in Benson Henderson and made him into merely a bad draw.

Henderson was partially responsible for one of the worst pay-per-view buyrates in recent UFC history — an estimated 190,000 buys for UFC 150 against fellow failure-to-move-the-needle Frankie Edgar. Henderson was so bad that the UFC kept him off PPV for an entire year after UFC 150, instead preferring to use their shows on FOX to build him up. After these shows, the UFC decided to put Henderson back in a PPV main event at UFC 164, presumably in order to see if FOX turned the ho-hum fighter into a star.

I noted the importance of UFC 164’s PPV performance in a previous article:

If UFC 164 can boast a decent buyrate, then the theory that the UFC can use FOX to create the next generation of stars will be proven true, and the UFC’s future will be a little more secure. But if UFC 164 fails as hard as UFC 150 did — if promoting a fighter TWO TIMES on one of the biggest networks on television failed to make that fighter a draw — then the UFC is in trouble. That would mean one champion who would be dead weight on a card, in addition to the champions from the lighter men’s weight classes who have all yet to establish themselves as major PPV draws.

UFC 164 didn’t perform as poorly as UFC 150. It drew an estimated 270,000 buys.

“That’s great! It’s about a 42% increase over last time,” you say? Yeah, that’s true, but let’s look at it another way.

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In Case You Missed It: Homeless Bum Dana White Helps Rob Riggle Make Week 13 NFL Picks


Skip to the 1:45 mark for Dana’s appearance. Props to reader Alan K for the video.

While the rest of you were watching football today (the American version, aka the one worth watching *chugs beer, initiates U-S-A! chant*), you may have noticed a familiar face in this week’s edition of Riggle’s Picks. No, it wasn’t one of us. It was UFC President Dana White, satirizing “Exclusive Access” sports websites alongside Rob Riggle.

Riggle hits all the standard punchlines about these types: Improbable rumors, Rex Ryan is a fat mess, that these sites are only in it for the money, Richard Simmons, the webmasters live with their mothers, Jewish guilt- you know the drill by now. But Dana White steals the show with his masterful performance as a homeless drunk, who serves as an incarnation of “Guy who can’t possibly have inside information spreading outlandish rumors that only internet trolls are dumb enough to believe.”

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Is the UFC’s Fox Deal Hurting Business?


(Video courtesy of YouTube/StudioMMA)

An interesting quote from the interview above by our friends at StudioMMA got me thinking today whether or not the landmark TV deal the UFC struck with Fox is helping or hindering Zuffa’s bottom line.

According to UFC president Dana White, every day he deals with fans who say they had no idea that the UFC is broadcasting events on Fox and it’s affiliates like FX and Fuel TV.

“Our deal with Fox is seven years. Over the next two years we’re working our asses off to get this Fox deal dialed in… Fuel, FX and big Fox — as far as the production goes, as far as the type of programming we’re going to continue to put together, fine-tuning the Ultimate Fighter that’s live and reaching out and letting not only the hardcore fans, the sometimes fans and people who aren’t yet fans know that we’re on Fox. That’s a bigger job than people could imagine. How many people that I still talk to on Twitter that have no idea we are on FOX, FX or FUEL; oh, it’s crazy man. It’s crazy. So that’s what we’re going to be doing in the next two years.”

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UFC on FOX 1 Conference Call Notes and Quick Quotes


(A twist to the story is that they are actually brothers who used to be siamese twins.)

The UFC and FOX held a conference call today with UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, UFC President Dana White, FOX Sports Media Group Chairman David Hill, FOX Sports Co-President Eric Shanks and FUELTV General Manager George Greenberg for members of the media who were unable to attend today’s UFC on Fox 1 pre-fight press conference in Los Angeles. Besides the big announcement that prelim fights will soon be moving over to FuelTV from Facebook, there were a few other interesting nuggets that came out of the call.

Check out the quick quotes after the jump.

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ESPN’s MMA Live Host Jon Anik Joins UFC Broadcast Team


(Photo courtesy of Ed Mulholland/ESPN)

In an effort to take some of the growing workload off of the backs of color analyst Joe Rogan and play-by-play man Mike Goldberg, the UFC announced today that it has added veteran sportscaster Jon Anik to its broadcast team.

Anik, who has anchored MMA Live since 2008 and hosted several ESPN pre-UFC shows, will be involved with the November 12 Fox broadcast in some capacity and will likely take the reins of commentating duties for the next season’s weekly live broadcast of The Ultimate Fighter on FX among other events.

“We’re very happy to have Jon as part of the team,” UFC president Dana White said after making the announcement at today’s UFC 137 press conference.

“It’s a dream come true. I believe the UFC’s a strong a brand as there is in professional sports, but what really drew me to this organization was the people behind it. I think as strong as this organization is, it’s the people behind it,” the 33-year-old Boston native said Thursday. “It’s a well-oiled machine, I just hope I don’t get in the way. I’m very excited to get started.

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Spike TV Playing Hardball With UFC; Dana White is Not Happy


(A woman scorned always has her revenge.)

It looks like Spike TV isn’t going to let the UFC walk away from their longtime liaison quietly.

Like a woman scorned , Spike will attempt to sabotage Zuffa’s burgeoning relationship with Fox by counter-programming the network’s first UFC event featuring a heavyweight tilt between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos with a three-hour special “Dos Santos vs. Velasquez: Unleashed” series of shows according to MMA Junkie. The November 12 Unleashed Marathon will begin at 9:00 just as Fox’s inaugural UFC event is set to start.

According to the report,  Spike owns the broadcast rights to the UFC library through 2012, and unless Zuffa buys back the rights the network will likely continue to counter-program Fox’s events for the next year. The catch 22 of the situation is that unless the UFC buys back the rights, Spike cannot air any other promotion’s events, which explains why it is only airing Bellator’s prelims on its website. The move could be a testing ground to see if there’s enough interest to move Bellator’s weekly events to the rotation when the UFC agreement expires.

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UFC Announces Velasquez vs. dos Santos for Main Event of November 12 Debut On Fox


(“Let’s try to make this thing last at least one round, deal?”)

UFC president Dana White announced during a conference call today that a heavyweight championship bout between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos will be the only bout on the promotion’s inaugural one-hout broadcast on Fox November 12. The heavily-anticipated bout, which was rumored to be the capper for UFC 139 a week later in San Jose, was instead moved to the Fox show and will now be the UFC’s landmark first fight on network television. The promotion is confident that it could do for them what Griffin vs. Bonnar I at the TUF 1 finale did for the sport back in 2006.

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In Spite of Our Pleas, Fox Execs Pushing for Gus Johnson Involvement in UFC Pre and Post-Fight Shows


(Video courtesy of YouTube/MMAHeat)

Somebody needs to send Eric Shanks a few links to some mixed martial arts website comment sections and message boards where the topic of Gus Johnson’s MMA commentary skills are being discussed. If they did, the FOX Sports Media Group President and Co-COO might think long and hard about having captain eyeshadow do the UFC’s pre and post-fight shows like he told MMA H.E.A.T’s Karyn Bryant he’s looking into doing.

This could call for a petition.

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Dear Fox, Please Keep Gus Johnson Away From Your UFC Broadcasts. Signed, Everyone.


(“Maybe he was born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.”)

One overlooked scenario from today’s blockbuster announcement that Fox Networks has signed a seven year broadcast deal with the UFC is that Gus Johnson may somehow be involved in its UFC coverage.

Fox recently inked the sometimes MMA commentator to a multi-year commentary deal that will see the veteran football and basketball play-by-play man call a variety of Pacific-12 football and basketball games, the Cotton Bowl and football games on the Big Ten Network, which is also partly owned by Fox. He will also call about 30 BTN basketball games as well as some yet-to-be-determined college basketball games on either Fox or FX.

Hopefully for the sake of the majority of MMA fans who came to loathe the much-maligned Renzo Gracie BJJ blue belt’s oblivious Strikeforce commentary, his other duties will keep his made-up mug off of the UFC-related broadcasts, that are said to include pre and post-fight shows and a weekly or daily UFC magazine-type series.

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Watch the UFC/FOX Live Press Conference Today at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m ET


(Also, Glenn Beck’s old spot will be permanently replaced by BJ Penn tackling people.)

As reported earlier this week, the UFC and FOX have been finalizing a new broadcast deal that will place up to four annual fight events on the network and move weekly programming (like The Ultimate Fighter) to cable subsidiary FX. The partnership will be made public today at a press conference in Los Angeles, scheduled for 10 a.m. local time. (Or at least that’s what we think will happen. I mean, what else would they announce? Their mutual love of It’s Always Sunny?)

Expected for the press conference are Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta, Georges St. Pierre, Frankie Edgar, Rashad Evans, as well as FOX Sports Media Group Chairman and CEO David Hill, Co-Presidents and COO’s Randy Freer and Eric Shanks, and FX President John Landgraf.

fxnetworks.com will host a live stream of the press conference at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m ET. Keep your eye on it, and we’ll talk later.

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