Why is PFL failing?

Discussion in 'Worldwide MMA Discussion' started by 2004 account, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. 2004 account

    2004 account Supporting real mma

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    On paper PFL was a sureshot, they had everything to be a guaranteed success and they even focused on the right things like how to create a fair and exciting promotion, which was great. The rules and structure gave it an interesting appeal that stood out from the rest of the organizations and has had hardcore fans tuning in as well. The million dollar prize was also a huge added incentive for the fighters who participated.

    Why are the ratings so low then?

    Granted mma viewership numbers are low in general lately and even hardcore fans can get finicky at times due to being spoiled with an over saturation of mma content in the recent years, but still this has me wondering whether it has to do with the times or their format specifically.


    I believe the average fan wants to see fights without any added gimmicks, they just want to see a pure fight (or as close to it as possible). The casual just bleed crowd is very simple and barbaric, I doubt that they care much for a structured sport like the soccer tables/standings we see employed by PFL.
    Purist mma fans don’t care for it either I guess despite it being a system based on finding the best fighter through merit and not popularity. Tournament formats work much better when they have recognizable marquee name fighters participating in them like pride’s, strikeforce and bellators gran prix’s for example.

    PFL had good intentions but they didn’t take these factors into account and are probably going to overspend so much by the end of the tourney that they will go out of business unfortunately.

    I for one was excited after the first couple of events but then when the novelty wore off I just thought of it as any other regular 2nd or 3rd tier mma promotion. The X factor just isn’t there to make it stand out special imo.

    Bellator has it. Pride had it, The ufc had it. It’s something almost indescribable, but for an mma promotion to succeed nowadays , they are going to have to really make an effort to shine through all the over saturation. PFL didn’t make the best first impression possible, I watched the Facebook live event where they took like an hour off between the prelims and main card. Unacceptable.

    Creating and maintaining a top tier mma org. takes a lot of planning and proper execution. It’s a mix of legit fights between marquee names, having a character for a president (Dana and Coker are both great at what they do but possess drastically different personalities that resonate with fighters and fans), pageantry (super production, pride and ksw type), good memorable announcers , interviewers and commentators, damn even georgeous ring card girls without pointy elbows are demanded by fans nowadays.

    All in all I hope PFL continues and thrives but I feel that won’t happen.

    So I hereby utter the typical sherdog words but this time with a new subject:

    “PFL is dying bro”
    Rest In Peace PFL.
     
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  2. Danespina

    Danespina Gold Belt

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    That's not a minor point.

    Every week there's a new THIS show did terrible ratings topic.

    DJ/Reis did the worst ratings in Fox history, then 2 months later Weidman/Gastelum did the worst ratings in fox history. Bellator is crumpling. WWE Raw just did the lowest ratings in history despite having been on air for 25 years.

    PFL is great and everyone in live discussion forums seem to be having a blast with the concept, the fights, and the finishes. But unfortunately the numbers game is hard right now.

    I personally commend PFL for turning WSOF upside down to try something new though. I do think they've created a worthwhile product that solves a lot of common complaints from fans, but if the MMA market is drying up while simultaneously becoming saturated, then shit I don't know. Just enjoy it while it lasts I guess.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
  3. jei

    jei Danger Zone Admin Staff Member Forum Administrator Senior Moderator Administrator

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    125-150k ratings is fine for them, I guess. They knew they weren't going to get UFC or even Bellator-level numbers, they just don't have the roster to draw people in. Most to all of these fighters are completely new to any casual audience, and they are barely doing any promotion about each fighter besides the main event guys, so these fighters are just *interchangeable tournament participant A*.

    Audiences like to make a connection with the fighters, and this isn't about that. This is "who's the baddest man (or woman that one time) on this roster at this weight class". That's only going to go so far these days.
     
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  4. RTL

    RTL NostraMMAus™ Platinum Member

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    They are a complete nonentity in Canada, I'll tell you that much.
     
  5. GSP_37

    GSP_37 Gold Belt

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    Don't know who the vast majority are, therefore don't know why I should tune in. The few I do watch turn in snoozefest performances. The production does look amateurish. Announcers need to quit calling DREAM PRIDE.
     
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  6. executionermma

    executionermma Black Belt

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    Most people don't care for the sport of MMA. They like facepunching, but they wanna know who is fighting, so the fights can mean more for them. It's unfortunate, because PFL has been awesome.
     
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  7. Danespina

    Danespina Gold Belt

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    I will say that WSOF found a way to build stars over time, so maybe it's possible PFL can do the same.

    I had no idea who Ray Cooper III, Kevin Tiller, or Kayla Harrison were before this tournament, but now I do.
     
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  8. RODNEY83

    RODNEY83 Yellow Card Yellow Card

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    Wrong network and I mean it is seriously on the wrong network. Hopefully, with FOX no longer having the UFC, the PFL can get a bid from FOX Sports.
     
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  9. FKA

    FKA THAT BELLATOR GUY/FUCK YOU GRUDEN!!

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    THIS
     
  10. podsox

    podsox Silver Belt

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    Nbc sports combined with no publicity. I was going to go to the show in Chicago but they didn’t even offer a seating chart. They even tweeted me they were going to put one out. They never did. U were just blindly buying tickets by price. Shows how much effort they put into it.
     
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  11. covenant

    covenant Black Belt

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    PFL is a terrible name. it seems ACB is going under aswell and their product was pretty good, loved the aspect of finishing one fight and proceding onto the next.

    im not american so i cant view pfl anyway. isnt sport viewership down in general ?
     
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  12. strongstylekarate

    strongstylekarate Superpower

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    The truth is, no one gives s **** about overall standings.

    This is mma and not a team sport like soccer, so no need for that.

    And every mma needs production value (colorful presentation and presentation aka Crazy Pride Lady), like what you see in Bellator, KSW and One Championship (PRIDE started it).

    PFL is just a rebranded WSOF.

    PFL needs to change everything, change the name and the structure of the promotion.

    And maybe focus more in Asia and Europe (maybe South America), because North American MMA scene is pretty crowded right now.
     
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  13. strongstylekarate

    strongstylekarate Superpower

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    I agree, PFL is not something that will come to people's minds when it comes to mma like UFC, Bellator, KSW and One Championship etc.
     
  14. Evangelion

    Evangelion Silver Belt

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    They built stars but no viewers. Bellator hasn't been able to build stars either. All of their big events were headlined by former Ufc stars.

    Sherdog doesn't get it. The casual audience has no appetite for mma beyond the Ufc.
     
  15. TheBrownRanger

    TheBrownRanger Brown Belt

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    I agree with the consensus that television viewership is failing. I looked at this as a cop-out excuse for bad ratings, but it looks to be a very real situation. NBC Sports is not a popular television network, at least to my knowledge.

    They need to look at guys like Frank Mir and Vitor Belfort for ratings. Do a one-off ith TRT-tor on an Indian rez.

    Otherwise, I'm not sure how else they can generate interest. I think Shields vs Nurmagomedov is easily their most marketable match-up. The Diaz bros and Khabib's goons had some bad blood in the past. They NEED to take advantage of that before the year is over.

    However, I think the PFL did right by switching from diluting the WSOF altogether. The WSOF had suffered from very boring fights, especially in those Welterweight and Bantamweight divisions. It was like going back to the wall-n-stall days of 2010. If you don't agree, you probably only watched Gaethje and Moraes fights.
     
  16. JimGunn

    JimGunn Silver Belt

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    PFL is awesome just the way it is. It's my second favorite MMA promotion to watch after the UFC nowadays. There is probably nothing they could do to get huge ratings, and none of your suggestions would be any help. Even if it lasts just this one season and six fighters get more than a million dollars it will all have been worth it. I hope it continues anyway, even with low ratings.
     
  17. orangecuse

    orangecuse Gold Belt

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    It does similar numbers to WSOF, right? How were they a sure shot? It's WSOF with a different name while claiming to offer the fighters more money without any new revenue stream.

    Where was the sure shot for success? They are on a channel no one watches. At best it's the third best MMA promotion in the US with the second best struggling. Viewership down for the top promotion too. It's a small promotion that doesn't do much advertising and has no star power.

    I've always liked it whether it was WSOF or PFL. It's in a spot viewership wise that it pretty much was always going to be in. I think the only thing calling their future into question is their big payout claims.
     
  18. 2004 account

    2004 account Supporting real mma

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    The sureshot for formula for success (in their minds) was brainstorming and coming up with list of ideas/gimmicks that would in theory bring success to their promotion like the standings table (with points and eliminations), the one million dollar prize incentive (that should’ve attracted better known name talent but didn’t) and the whole tournament format which has been proven to be a successful endeavor for the orgs that have known how to do one. On paper it was a bunch of ideas on how to fix the sport and make it about merit and talent instead of popularity but they fell short because in order to be successful you need to start with better household marquee name fighters imo, that’s the best bait to attract hardcore and casuals alike, and then growing it from there. They failed in that aspect , therefore weakening their whole mission which had been a good ideas from the start and strong in conception but poorly executed.
     
  19. Grappleboxing

    Grappleboxing Brown Belt

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    A case of potentially starting off too fast imo.

    The issue with most orgs that fail is that they try to get to the top without establishing a base first. Did Bellator instantly try to shoot to #2? No, they started small, with small salaries and a smaller distribution deal.

    WSOF on the other hand had Rumble and a bunch of other names on their first few cards. It's sink or swim at that point since you've thrown a bunch of money at big name fighters without building the goodwill and fanbase that comes with starting off slower. PFL looks to be going the same way.

    If PFL started smaller and used the 1 dollar tourney to break into mainstream, that'd be a different story than shooting right out of the gate.
     
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  20. Danespina

    Danespina Gold Belt

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    It kind of sucks that after every event, where the live discussion is upbeat and enthusiastic, we have to follow it up with a dreaded ratings topic that tries to undermine all that positivity.

    Plus they haven't even gotten to the playoff or million dollar shows yet. It's still possible for PFL to catch on.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
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