Well, it seems the NFL has had a change of heart about the NFL Network afterall. Maybe it’s really for the fans, or maybe it’s the league’s love affair with Tom Brady and the Patriots, but we think it’s a conspiracy to keep MMA out of the mainstream. League Commissioner Roger Goodell made his ass-kissing statement yesterday that for the first time ever, an NFL game would be simultaneously broadcast on two networks, CBS and NBC. And for the less than 40 percent of fans that get the NFL Network, that’ll give them three options where to tune in. And in local markets around New York and Boston, local channels will give viewers a ridiculous four options. NFL fans are thrilled as pigs in shit – no offense to pigs. MMA fans, not so thrilled.
How does this hurt MMA so much, specifically the UFC? Check out the times. The Patriots-Giants game will be at 8:15 pm EST. UFC 79: Nemesis at 10 pm EST. By the time the UFC kicks off their broadcast, the soon-to-be 16 – 0 Patriots will be rolling into the second half and towards history. We’re not worried about die-hard MMA fans switching allegiances for one night just to watch the Giants get their asses kicked. We’re more worried about the posers out there that might prefer to get their entertainment for free this Saturday. Not to mention the IFL World Grand Prix will air live on HDNet starting at 9:30 pm EST on the same night. It’ll be the first IFL event on Mark Cuban’s channel and he’s promoting the hell out of it. The night includes the rematch between Chris Horodecki and Shad Lierley, plus the curtain lifting on the IFL featherweight division.
Will a free broadcast of the event split the votes between the IFL and the UFC? We hate to say it, but it’s likely. And with highlights and bouts being rebroadcast for free at a later date, some fans might decide to wait. We’re of the mind that we get everyone we know to cowboy up and get UFC 79 on PPV, Tivo HDNet and read about the Patriots game in the paper. That way, we all win. Screw the NFL and their mainstreamness.
And for an extra helping of kick ass viewing, remember Spike TV will air their countdown to UFC 79: Nemesis at 6:30 pm EST.