Why are UFC ppv cards so weak now and what can they do to fix them? (Longer read)

Discussion in 'UFC Discussion' started by sdpdude9, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. sdpdude9

    sdpdude9 Purple Belt

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    With the current UFC 228 debacle, I thought it would be interesting to look at how ppv cards have changed in recent years and why.

    Nowadays, most pay per views are essentially FS1 quality cards with a title fight or two attached. Compare this to years ago when you could actually feel hyped about every main card fight and even many of the prelims.

    So what's the issue? Why has this become the norm? The problems lies in a few core issues....

    The Issues

    1) Too many cards.
    The UFC plain puts too many cards on. They don't have the talent to spread across so many events so you end up with subpar fighters getting signed to fill them out. This is the most obvious issue when it comes to poor quality cards.

    2) Poor distribution of talent.
    The UFC generally follows the same formula for each type of show. PPV is usually 1 or 2 title fights, usually one more quality fight, then 2 weak ones. Fs1 cards are generally one decent main event and filled with decent as best fights at that.

    3)Reliance on mega cards.
    The UFC will now save talent to put on 1 or 2 mega cards a year. Usually aiming for international fight week in July and MSG in November.

    4) Injuries and pull outs.
    We all know. These instances happen nearly every card.

    So what can the UFC do about it? Here's a solution to each issue.

    The Solutions

    1) Lower the amount of cards.
    No brainer. Makes each fight feel more like an event as opposed to an every weekend affair. Cut lower level filler talent and keep the best on the roster.

    2) Focus on ppv cards
    If the UFC is unwilling to drop the amount of cards then they need to distribute their talent to better sell a ppv. Use Fs1 to build mid card talent and put the bigger fight they currently use to main event in a ppv main card slot. Take for example 228, you add the last fs1 main event (Gaethje/Vick) and next week's main event (Hunt/Olinyk) suddenly you have a decent looking card again. The fs1 cards suffer but it's an opportunity to spotlight some lower talent.

    3)Stop mega cards
    This is a bit more controversial because everybosy likes a big card. But they could do it in a way where each ppv card is a solid 7-8/10 instead of 6 3/10 cards with one 9/10.

    4)Have back up plans and replacements on tap
    If they're putting meaningful fights on each ppv card in the ways I've outlined before, then they'd be golden. If you have a solid card one or two pull outs won't ruin it. For title fights or other bigger fights either have a fighter contracted to prepare in case or have them fighting on the same card. Keep the same weight classes featured on each card so you have a contingency plan.

    So I think this pretty well outlines the issues and what could be done. If you disagree with me or have better solutions let's hear them.

     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
  2. mb2621

    mb2621 Green Belt

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    The answer is easy. Don't need a card every month. They should do super cards every 3 months or so. Everyone else can fight on ESPN, Fox, or Fightpass. Let people know the fighters so they can be built up first.
     
  3. SeattleFightFan

    SeattleFightFan Steel Belt

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    interestingly, each of your ideas will result in less profits for Zuffa.

    so i wouldn't hold my breath.

    but from a fan perspective, good thoughts!

    but from a purely profit perspective, having lots of mediocre cards across 100+ TV deals + a few low buy PPV's is way, way, way more profitable than 12 or 20 decent PPV's
     
  4. jojoRed

    jojoRed Aint no stress on me, Lord.

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    Some of yall complain, but I want MMA every week, idgaf, give me a fun headliner and have some fun scraps on every card. Have a big card every month and im happy.
     
  5. sdpdude9

    sdpdude9 Purple Belt

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    They could continue putting mediocre cards on tv less the bigger main event and bolster each ppv to gain more buys for those.
     
  6. Jim Gilmore

    Jim Gilmore Green Belt

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    When fighters are fighting 4X per year, there is no need to water down the cards.

    Unfortunately, the more savings a fighter accumulates, the more responsible management team he/she can afford...the less often they will fight, and the more likely it is they will pull out.

    The solution is less fighter pay so fighters have no choice but to fight.

    I guarantee you if Brian Ortega was fighting paycheck to paycheck, at risk of getting kicked out of his studio apartment, he would have fought Brock Lesnar on 30 seconds notice.
     
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  7. Crimson Glory

    Crimson Glory Go Pack Go!

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    Putting on 3-4 cards a month, as much as I enjoy having something to look forward to every week, doesn't work.

    They need to start, at most, having a free card and a PPV card bi-weekly.

    Quality over quantity.
     
  8. pick999

    pick999 Silver Belt

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    they overstack 1 card
     
  9. Captain Tight

    Captain Tight Gettin two birds stoned at once

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    I like the idea of a MEGA stacked card at least once a year.

    Obviously, there are too many fight cards and pay per views. But, you also forgot to list one key issue. Too many WMMA fights. Sure I don’t see a problem with having one every now and then if there’re relevant. But cmon, for real.
     
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  10. Szwok

    Szwok Brown Belt

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    You get so much MMA you hardly know anyone anymore. Wich leaves you not caring if someone wins or lose, you just watch the fights for some awesome finish. The UFC doesnt want fighters to be bigger then they are, you cant put a leash on a dog once you put a crown on his head.

    The UFC wants to make money, the new owners invested quite alot. So dont expect it to change!

    look what happened to connor, the law cant even touch him! So how can the UFC
     
  11. aokimasaru

    aokimasaru Green Belt

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    Because UFC doesn't build stars. What do I mean build? For those people who don't watch boxing, promoters often choose a fighter with potential and they feed him with bums. Then when they become real stars they let them fight legit competition. Example: Canelo and Chavez Jr. UFC on the other hand will rush a fighter's career. Sage, Paige, Yair, Grasso, Ngannou, Uriah Hall and many others are victims of a rushed career. They could've been champs or at least a ticket seller if only UFC guided their career. There are exceptions like Ronda, Conor and Jones but those people only come once in a decade and when they are gone you have this current shitty situation.
     
  12. Benoitthegr8

    Benoitthegr8 Bum Life Practitioner Platinum Member

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    Scrap WMMA
    send 125 up to BW
    Force athletes to spend last weeks prep at the UFCPI for supervised weight cutting
    {<jordan}
    WME’s bought a 4B$ circus...lol
     
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  13. Wizzlebiz

    Wizzlebiz Wizzlebiz is the Wizziest

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    I am answering the title not the contwnt of wall of text.

    Cards are weak beacause Endeavor sucks and wants to pay the least money out on each card.

    What can be done? Hopw they sell to a company yhat actually gives a fuck about the cards.
     
  14. SeattleFightFan

    SeattleFightFan Steel Belt

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    now you're just moving the argument goalposts when faced with info that doesn't fit your preconceived notions.

    could they take more fights that were on FS1 and FightPass cards, weaken those, and stack PPV's more? well, their agenda of building up FightPass subscribers gets hurt, and the Spike & Fox Sports deals were written in such a way that Fox & Spike had input into how those fight cards look.

    so no, it's not as simple as moving good fights from TV to PPV.

    i don't want to debate you. but i do hope you hear what i'm saying and consider it, evaluate it, and work it into your overall hypothesis. because the fact is, if you don't consider Zuffa profit, then no solution you come up with will hold water. cheers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
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  15. 613

    613 Silver Belt

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    The cards are not weaker necessarily. They just have way more weight classes and WMMA now. Back when it was only LW, WW, MW, LHW and HW, it was easy to get to know all the top 10 fighters. Now, not so much. I personally wish they just kept WEC and put WMMA and lower weight classes there. WEC always had great cards
     
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  16. Rainer

    Rainer Orange Belt

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    Absolutely agree!!

    Two things I'd add

    #1 bring back some kind of sembalance to it being a sport - using rankings and systemisation for determining title shots.
    #2 change the weigh in system, like BJJ comps - or One OR something - but not what it is now plllleeeeeaase

    Good post!
     
  17. sdpdude9

    sdpdude9 Purple Belt

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    I fail to see how I'm moving goal posts. My response to your post was one of my original statements. I didn't alter my argument at all.

    Sure, maybe they lose some money on fight pass and with the tv but you have to believe that pay per views are far more profitable and that's why they continue to have them. If they're selling 200-300k more pay per views I gotta think that would outweigh the profit losses elsewhere. If I'm wrong there please enlighten me.

    Aside from that, if they lowered the amount of cards and kept each reasonably stacked with interesting fights I gotta think that could end up more profitable. It worked before. When ufc was at it's peak they had less cards and better quality and business was booming.
     
  18. FrankieNYC

    FrankieNYC STUFF! Platinum Member

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    The next ESPN deal (2019) guarantees UFC an average of $10m per card
    That is a 250k PPV
    PPV is not the main source of revenue & hasn't been in at least 5 years.

    UFC is a $200m+ profit a year company without a single PPV sold.

    I'm not trying to change your opinion, just give you some financial background regarding the situation.

    WME are not MMA people. They are business people, so they will make decisions based on what brings in most rev/profit, because (as of a month ago) they were not even majority owners & have to answer to investors
     
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  19. sdpdude9

    sdpdude9 Purple Belt

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    Thanks for that. This is useful information. Then that begs the question why even have pay per views at all? Just for the potential to sell more and make more than a standard televised card would make? If that's the case then they need to stack them still, because they're not getting over that 250k mark too often. If they bolstered the televised cards then it could raise ratings and make their brand worth more. Then maybe just do occasional pay per views for the massive fights that would be guaranteed to make more?
     
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  20. FrankieNYC

    FrankieNYC STUFF! Platinum Member

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    Excellent point
    With top fighter fighting maybe 2x a year, its tough to build anything consistent
    I know people that like a fighter then 9 months go by & they stopped caring.

    If top guys fought 3x a year (same for Bellator), MMA would be easier for casuals to care about & hardcores would get enough fights to fill the year.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
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