What Does Future Hold for Strikeforce, MMA on Network TV?

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emfleek
4/19/10 1:14:31PM
In retrospect, it was probably a poor choice of words.

"Sometimes these things happen in MMA," said CBS play-by-play man Gus Johnson.

By "these things," he apparently meant post-fight brawls like the one that had just erupted in the cage following Strikeforce's main event bout between Jake Shields and Dan Henderson. If only Johnson had left off the "in MMA" part, or better yet, not tried to dismiss a complete breakdown of good sense with a flippant remark that suggested we were looking at people who weren't responsible for their own actions, maybe it wouldn't have seemed so bad.

As it was, there were likely many viewers checking out MMA on CBS for the first or second or even third time who saw the melee, heard that remark, and decided that yes, this kind of thing does just happen sometimes in this crazy sport.

LINK
ncordless
4/19/10 1:24:21PM
The only thing that matters for Strikeforce and network tv is the ratings, which were poor. The problem was that people didn't like the fights. The post-fight brawl is of no consequence to the network and thus no consequence to Strikeforce. The only worry they have is if the AC decides to suspend those involved. Check the major sports websites, there is no mention of the brawl on the front page of those sites and no major opinion writer has taken up the crusade against it.

The only people who care about it are the hardcore mma fans, who in general are ubersensitive about how the sport is portrayed. I believe this sensitivity is counter-productive. 5-10 years ago, we had to defend the sport against the ignorant cries of barbarity and human cockfighting. In 2010, the sport is legitimate and people who freak out about things that happen regularly in other sports do nothing except call into question that legitimacy.
Caesarrrr
4/19/10 7:30:39PM
I think SF will be dropped soon from TV.

As for MMA on a network, I don't think we need it right now. The UFC is doing great with what it's got now, and I feel like a slow, steady expansion is what the sport needs most. I think MMA Live will do more to advance the sport than any card on Network TV, because most sports fans will just set ESPN on when there is nothing else to watch, and MMA live has a great history of choosing fighters that positively represent the sport. It's an intelligent program, and I feel like the networks will come around in time.
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