Brock is the first major casualty - the ESPN deal is a disaster for the sport

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Saloth Sar

Let's take a little trip to the countryside
Dec 1, 2015
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It's strange (it's actually not strange, they're a bunch of fucking hacks) how the MMA media hasn't managed to wrap its head around how utterly devastating this deal is. It's a disaster for fans, fighters, ESPN (yep, there's no way they recoup their money on this) and the future of the sport. It's a win only for WME. MMA is now a product that exists entirely to move streaming subscriptions. But that's only half the problem - it is actually run by people who don't need to move those subscriptions themselves because they've already been paid. That's a terrible combination.

The UFC no longer has any incentive to take any risks or give a shit about the quality of its content. Falling viewership is ESPN's problem, not theirs. Cards are only going to get worse. Fighters are going to have to adjust to a world where they have even less power and there will be a lot of inactivity because of it.

This is what the UFC has always wanted. It never wanted stars, it has just tolerated them at times. It wants to promote its own brand above all else and keep its fighters completely powerless. This is the business model they learned from Vince McMahon and the WWE. It now has the TV/PPV deal in place to ensure it can fully realize this vision. And the cards they put out are going to get fucking awful.
 

Tiiimmmaaayyy

First 100 ish
Jan 19, 2015
6,297
8,284
i don’t fully understand this new deal, but it sounds like people are a bit unhappy. I won’t be getting ESPN+ anytime soon so i guess I’ll be missing most of the good fights too. Does this ESPN deal mean that more top levels are going to move over to Bellator? Seems like that would be the move i would wanna take. Coker is well respected and these new UFC owners seem to have their heads in asses.
 

Saloth Sar

Let's take a little trip to the countryside
Dec 1, 2015
6,001
10,133
i don’t fully understand this new deal, but it sounds like people are a bit unhappy. I won’t be getting ESPN+ anytime soon so i guess I’ll be missing most of the good fights too. Does this ESPN deal mean that more top levels are going to move over to Bellator? Seems like that would be the move i would wanna take. Coker is well respected and these new UFC owners seem to have their heads in asses.
I think we might see mid-tier guys defect but it's not going to be much of a change. The main immediate changes we will see are worse cards (we're already starting to see it) as the UFC moves towards a 'satisfy our obligations towards ESPN while cutting costs' model rather than a 'maximize profits' model.

They only have a cost-cutting incentive now and that will start to become very apparent.
 

sparkuri

Pulse On The Finger Of The Community
First 100
Jan 16, 2015
24,726
37,005
2009 is calling, they want their thread topic back.

Tell them it'll cost them $85.99 + $17.99/mo.
 

conor mcgregor nut hugger

All Lives Matter
Oct 24, 2015
50,975
41,868
It is a bad deal for the fighters but they're retards so they never formed a union, which might have been able to stop it.

Brock is our first casualty. I really hope Conor isn't the next, but he likely will be.
 

Saloth Sar

Let's take a little trip to the countryside
Dec 1, 2015
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10,133
It is a bad deal for the fighters but they're retards so they never formed a union, which might have been able to stop it.

Brock is our first casualty. I really hope Conor isn't the next, but he likely will be.
I think ESPN will push hard for Conor-Khabib 2 when they realize how much they've fucked up with this deal. And I think the UFC will try to appease them on that. But that will be the final time he fights in the UFC, win or lose, is my prediction.
 

conor mcgregor nut hugger

All Lives Matter
Oct 24, 2015
50,975
41,868
I think ESPN will push hard for Conor-Khabib 2 when they realize how much they've fucked up with this deal. And I think the UFC will try to appease them on that. But that will be the final time he fights in the UFC, win or lose, is my prediction.
But Conor is a bigger draw than Brock (probably 2x bigger) so he'll likely want at least double the guaranteed money that Lesnar wanted. Will the UFC be willing to pay that, just because of pressure from ESPN?

How much fighters actually get paid has always been a murky subject, and it got a lot murkier with this shit PPV rights deal.
 

Saloth Sar

Let's take a little trip to the countryside
Dec 1, 2015
6,001
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But Conor is a bigger draw than Brock (probably 2x bigger) so he'll likely want at least double the guaranteed money that Lesnar wanted. Will the UFC be willing to pay that, just because of pressure from ESPN?

How much fighters actually get paid has always been a murky subject, and it got a lot murkier with this shit PPV rights deal.
My prediction is that it will be a one off lump sum deal. They've just fleeced ESPN for a fortune and will likely not want to piss them off so early. They opened both ESPN and Fox deals with fights that the company wanted, so I assume they'll also try to offer 1 big PPV to ESPN too. They can use the money they make ESPN on that one fight to pretend that they'll be a committed partner but go about fully implementing their vision of a star-less UFC.
 

RaginCajun

And knowing is half the battle
Oct 25, 2015
20,540
49,092
My prediction is that it will be a one off lump sum deal. They've just fleeced ESPN for a fortune and will likely not want to piss them off so early. They opened both ESPN and Fox deals with fights that the company wanted, so I assume they'll also try to offer 1 big PPV to ESPN too. They can use the money they make ESPN on that one fight to pretend that they'll be a committed partner but go about fully implementing their vision of a star-less UFC.
Agree. The only "star" they seem to want to keep-
 

Vagabond

it's what it is...
Oct 21, 2015
8,336
11,252
I hope this new model fails big time and UFC goes under and all fighters jump ship to other organizations for better payday.
 

Saloth Sar

Let's take a little trip to the countryside
Dec 1, 2015
6,001
10,133
I hope this new model fails big time and UFC goes under and all fighters jump ship to other organizations for better payday.
Well it can't fail for the UFC until well after this deal expires. They've made guaranteed bank.

The danger is this though - WME sells the UFC to some other bunch of buyers based on the UFC's current value and even higher future projections. But in that time, viewership has declined significantly and the sports TV rights bubble pops. That could force a future ownership group to declare bankruptcy.
 

Saloth Sar

Let's take a little trip to the countryside
Dec 1, 2015
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Can someone explain to me how this deal works?

Does an ESPN+ subscription also get you the PPV's?
You need to subscribe to ESPN+ first just to have the privilege of buying the PPV (if you live in North America). It's not a WWE-type deal where you pay a flat fee to access everything. So it's going to drive PPV buys down to the ground. We also won't have any way of knowing how many PPVs a card did any more, unless we think it's a good idea to take Dana at his word.
 

Dick Niaz

"Be available for life to happen" - Bill Murray
Jan 14, 2018
4,847
9,726
Use your head. Did you even see the Bronson/Theodorou fight? This deal probably just paid for itself with all the legions of new fans that barn burner brought on.
 

nuraknu

savage
Jul 20, 2016
5,648
9,377
I have an ESPN+ subscription. I recently lowered my cable bill and wanted to try it out.

It sucks. I don't know if it's that they haven't haven't adjusted their infrastructure to accommodate the UFC yet, or if it's like this intentionally, or if they're just incompetent.

The stream, even when watching a past event, freezes for a second or two about every 5-20 seconds. The timing is inconsistent but the freezing consistently occurs. This happened to me on my phone and casting to tv. It happened to my husband when casting and his phone is better than mine.

I did not choose to receive any alerts when installing, but I still get notifications anyway (I have been meaning to go directly in app settings but haven't yet). I have only ever logged on to watch UFC. I have only ever searched for UFC. I have never gotten an alert about UFC, even to say an event is starting. I keep getting alerts about other stuff I don't care about at all.

When I logged in last night during the event, I had to scroll about 2.5 screens of stuff I don't care about down before even seeing anything about UFC, and the main card was live. It's like a stepchild they don't care about.

It's like they bought the ufc stuff to push their other stuff on ufc fans, not to push ufc on their other fans. I will change my alert settings to actually select ufc alerts only, and then see how the whole thing works when it's "customized" to my preferences.