ESPN's Outside The Lines story on UFC Fighter Pay

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
10,309
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#1
ESPN OTL Link



So, what do you guys think? This is what Lorenzo thinks:
[video=youtube;Fbbs5nKXliU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fbbs5nKXliU[/video]

I get it, really. ESPN is comparing the UFC to the NFL/MLB/NBA/NHL. And to a point, that's fair. The UFC is shooting to match those sports, Dana makes no bones about it, so why shouldn't the UFC be compared to those sports?

Because the UFC isn't as big as those sports (yet, and probably never). Because those are established sports, where the owners really have contributed little to nothing to making the sport what it is. There's a reason why the founder of an industry (see Bill Gates/Steve Jobs) make bigger money than anyone else in the industry: they took the big risks and created the industry. I know Zuffa didn't create the UFC, but they damn well made MMA what it is today and made it the success that it is today. Every other promotion, even those that preceded Zuffa, are parasiting off of Zuffa's work. Zuffa is pushing the NY regulation, not the other promotions. Zuffa is pushing the unified rules and helping the sport expand. Zuffa paid for TUF1, not Spike or any of the other promotions, that really turned things around for the entire sport.

When the UFC is fully established, yes, I can see a reasonable argument for fighter pay to reach ~50% of overall revenue, if only because that's how the other sports are organized.

But at this early, early stage in MMA's development, when let's be honest we're still not sure if MMA is just going to be another poker-on-TV phenomenon, I think Zuffa deserves to reap the rewards of the HUGE risk they took in buying the UFC and pouring millions into it when the sport was nothing but a gigantic money pit.
 

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
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NJ
#2
ESPN hates Dana/UFC & will work any angle to go after them
 

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
12,813
838
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NJ
#4
I think you're overreacting. ESPN are not going to go after a company that they can still wind up being in business with.
You have zero idea of what you are talking about lol

Its a known fact that ESPN & UFC are at severe odds & have been
 

Your_Moms_Box

Free Shit / Socialism 2016
Dec 20, 2004
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#5
I think you're overreacting. ESPN are not going to go after a company that they can still wind up being in business with.
Yeah they can and it wouldn't be the first time.

ESPN hates that the UFC signed with Fox.



Also, In the article they compare UFC to boxing with the most absurd argument. They talk about the pay of undercarders and midcarders in the UFC compared to the few Main Eventers in boxing.

Why not compare untelevised UFC fighters to untelevized boxers? Oh, yeah, because the boxers would be making less.


The UFC isn't a monopoly when I can watch Dream, Proelite, and other cards on HDNet not to mention Bellator.

UFC has done a great job turning this sport into a profitable venture and any calls for pay parity are pre-mature at best.

Why SHOULD undercarders who don't win be making a lot of money? A lot of them still work regular jobs.

Hell, Forest was a cop until he won TUF.
 

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
12,813
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NJ
#6
One of the many articles that discuss ESPN vs UFC:
“ESPN always hated us and now they hate us more now that we are on FOX. They canceled my interview next week for UFC Rio. Fuk ESPN.”

Apparently, canceling Dana White’s appearance on the network (scheduled for next week) to promote UFC 134 in Rio is ESPN’s way over voicing their opinion on the deal. Because, let’s face it, the partnership between UFC and FOX now puts FOX Sports on a very even playing field with ESPN.

White then tweeted a little later, “@JimRome is the only thing good about ESPN”

White has appeared on Rome’s popular “Rome Is Burning” program numerous times to promote upcoming events.

Obviously, this brewing feud could have a sizable impact on the channel actually covering the UFC, in terms of highlights, fight announcements, and interviews. It’s also important to note that the relationship between the UFC and ESPN was already headed south, since ESPN UK recently stopped airing UFC Spike Tv Preliminary fights and UFC Live on Versus events, which the network had always aired in the past.

Now that this new FOX deal has been made official, all signs point to ESPN UK’s decision to stop airing certain UFC programming as being politically motivated.

It’s going to be very interesting to see how of this all plays out. As a new relationship between the UFC and a major network begins, another seems to be headed to a very abrupt end.
ESPN has hated Dana for a long time bc he doesn't kiss the ring like other sports leagues
This is pretty well known
 

Stormrider666

Hell is home.
Mar 19, 2005
28,194
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#7
You have zero idea of what you are talking about lol

Its a known fact that ESPN & UFC are at severe odds & have been
You'll be surprised how the promise of a shitload of money can soothe any hurt feelings. If ESPN really hated the UFC, they wouldn't have a show focusing on the sport or give results of PPV events.
 

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
12,813
838
293
NJ
#8
You'll be surprised how the promise of a shitload of money can soothe any hurt feelings. If ESPN really hated the UFC, they wouldn't have a show focusing on the sport or give results of PPV events.
I like you man but if your proof is a show on 1:30am that gets pre-empted 50% of the time as PROOF then ................ I REST MY CASE

You might be the only person that doesn't know ESPN is butthurt
 

Norm Stansfield

私は亀が好きだ。
Mar 17, 2009
15,949
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#9
One of the problems I have with the UFC is that there's no way to tell whether their fighters are the best in the world or not. There isn't any direct competition with outsiders, and the market isn't free or big enough to tell us that the highest paid fighters are the best.

That's not the case in baseball for instance. Even though there's a separate league in Japan, we know that Verlander is better than their best pitcher, because otherwise American teams would've emptied their bank accounts for the best Japanese guy. Dana wouldn't do that, because he's not running a team who's revenues depend on winning.

All Dana has to do is convince American audiences that these fighters are the best. through marketing. I'm one of the people that's not gonna work on. I would need proof: which, like I said, is either head to head matches with outsiders, or (and this would actually be the better and more realistic way to prove the UFC has the best fighters) a switch to an actual league, with teams competing for the best fighters.

And, before you mock, yes you can have teams in an individual sport. It wouldn't even require changing the structure of the competition. Fighters would match up the same way, just that they would be members of a team with separate sponsors, merchandising revenue, etc., and the revenue from TV and ticket sales would be shared between teams according to performance.
 

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
10,309
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#10
The problem between ESPN and the UFC doesn't lie in most/any of the guys you actually see on TV. Dana has stated before that the young guys you see on TV often love the UFC. The old dudes you don't see (execs and producers) hate the UFC. They're straight-up boxing guys, and that shows in what they put on.

Now, do I fully buy that? No, not really. There are reasons why big boxing matches aren't shown on Sportscenter, either: PPV event finals don't go on Sportscenter the week they're on. Period. It's why you only see still shots, if that, for big boxing PPVs. The UFC has decided that showing video from their PPVs isn't allowed, even months or weeks after the PPVs. If you watch Inside MMA on HDNet, you'll notice that UFC events never have video of the finishes. At best, there are some clips from earlier in the fight, but never the finishes. The UFC is ruthless about controlling their content, if only to sell "Best Of The Knockouts!" videos. That frankly limits what ESPN can do to promote PPV sports, including boxing. ESPN doesn't support Don King, Bob Arum, or Oscar de la Hoya more than they do Dana White. They're pretty critical of King, Arum and White.

OTOH, ESPN still promotes boxing by, for all intents and purposes, being their own boxing promoter. But that requires pretty big juice to be a promoter: you need to lay out a lot of money for a venue, for fighter pay, etc. The guys making those kinds of decisions aren't MMA guys. They're boxing guys, at best. Which is why ESPN doesn't promote MMA in general, but does promote boxing in general, though it fails to promote specific boxing promotions just as it fails to promote the UFC.

Do I think ESPN is "out to get" the UFC? Eh. I think it's more a case that the ESPN big wigs are apathetic at best about MMA and are fans of boxing if they're fans of combat sports at all. I can see the same kind of hatchet job on Don King and Top Rank: as a matter of fact, King sued ESPN for defamation.

Do I think this particular hatchet job was unfair? Largely, yes. ESPN only had on anti-UFC guys in their piece. The closest to a pro-UFC guy was their own MMA reporter, who was at best neutral.

I don't buy into a lot of the "ESPN covers X better because they have a contract with them and Y worse because they don't" stuff. CBS has the SEC contract, and ESPN sucks the SEC's dick (deservedly: it's a nice, big fat one) every chance they get. I seriously think there are personal prejudices among the programming guys at ESPN, and it shows in their reporting.

The UFC and MMA are new sports. A 30 year old guy at a UFC event is above median age. A 30 year old exec or producer at ESPN can't call the shots on what brand of toilet paper is in the restrooms at ESPN.
 

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
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NJ
#11
ESPN has publicly bitched that they didn't get breaking news regarding UFC in the past before others
A big example was the purchase of SF
They don't treat UFC fairly at all
It got worse with UFC going to Fox
 

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
10,309
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#12
ESPN has publicly bitched that they didn't get breaking news regarding UFC in the past before others
A big example was the purchase of SF
They don't treat UFC fairly at all
It got worse with UFC going to Fox
ESPN (and news organizations in general) don't like closed shops. It's why ESPN paints the Patriots as a kind of evil empire, because the Pats are so tight with their news. And I'm not a Pats fan, here: it's just the reality that news organizations prefer other organizations that play ball with them.

The UFC is a tight ship. News that they don't want out doesn't get out. News organizations hate that. I don't necessarily see this as a "we hate the UFC" thing so much as a "we hate closed shops" thing.

And yeah, Dana pisses them off on a personal level, too. The UFC takes excellent advantage of social media (dude, they put FIGHTS on FACEBOOK!!!), which cuts ESPN out of the loop. If every sport ran the way the UFC runs, ESPN would be out of business.

Was ESPN's report on the UFC unfair and retarded? Yes. Was it kind of predictable? Yes. Do I see this as some kind of ESPN conspiracy against the UFC? No. ESPN runs according to a predictable set of rules, and their coverage is perfectly predictable. Doesn't mean it's not bullshit, but it's predictable.
 

JMCC

Registered User
Oct 4, 2004
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#13
One of the problems I have with the UFC is that there's no way to tell whether their fighters are the best in the world or not. There isn't any direct competition with outsiders, and the market isn't free or big enough to tell us that the highest paid fighters are the best.

That's not the case in baseball for instance. Even though there's a separate league in Japan, we know that Verlander is better than their best pitcher, because otherwise American teams would've emptied their bank accounts for the best Japanese guy. Dana wouldn't do that, because he's not running a team who's revenues depend on winning.

All Dana has to do is convince American audiences that these fighters are the best. through marketing. I'm one of the people that's not gonna work on. I would need proof: which, like I said, is either head to head matches with outsiders, or (and this would actually be the better and more realistic way to prove the UFC has the best fighters) a switch to an actual league, with teams competing for the best fighters.

And, before you mock, yes you can have teams in an individual sport. It wouldn't even require changing the structure of the competition. Fighters would match up the same way, just that they would be members of a team with separate sponsors, merchandising revenue, etc., and the revenue from TV and ticket sales would be shared between teams according to performance.
The problem with your argument is that, while you may think the best talent isn't in the UFC, the fact of that matter is, that's not the truth. The best talent is in the UFC. All you have to do is look at the rankings from all the MMA websites.

There have been countless of fighters that were tearing it up outside of the UFC and once they made their debut, came up short. For example, Antonio Mckee had a 14 fight winning streak, hadn't lost since 2003 and was the MFC LW champ. What happen when the UFC gave him a chance? He lost to Volkmann. What does that tell you, if the best LW fighter of MFC couldn't even beat a fighter who by all measures still isn't consider elite?

As for the UFC paying top $$ for FA's, you're wrong again. For example, when Jake Shields became a FA, the UFC was all over him willing to pay him the extra $$ that it would take to sign him.

Does that always happen? No, there's a few fighters that aren't part of the ZUFFA umbrella that are top fighters (that's a whole other issue though) but if you have the talent, it won't be long before you're fighting in the UFC. That's just a fact.
 

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
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#14
The problem with your argument is that, while you may think the best talent isn't in the UFC, the fact of that matter is, that's not the truth. The best talent is in the UFC. All you have to do is look at the rankings from all the MMA websites.

There have been countless of fighters that were tearing it up outside of the UFC and once they made their debut, came up short. For example, Antonio Mckee had a 14 fight winning streak, hadn't lost since 2003 and was the MFC LW champ. What happen when the UFC gave him a chance? He lost to Volkmann. What does that tell you, if the best LW fighter of MFC couldn't even beat a fighter who by all measures still isn't consider elite?

As for the UFC paying top $$ for FA's, you're wrong again. For example, when Jake Shields became a FA, the UFC was all over him willing to pay him the extra $$ that it would take to sign him.

Does that always happen? No, there's a few fighters that aren't part of the ZUFFA umbrella that are top fighters (that's a whole other issue though) but if you have the talent, it won't be long before you're fighting in the UFC. That's just a fact.
Pretty much this.

The only really big name I can recall that the UFC hasn't gotten recently (and let's be honest: it's only been in the last few years the UFC's really had the money to go after big free agents) is Fedor. And it's not like the UFC didn't go all out to get Fedor: he just wanted something that was impossible for the UFC to give him.

And in retrospect, can you really say that the UFC should have signed Fedor to the deal he wanted? Seriously, dude's been over the hill for a while and it's pretty obvious.

The UFC pays their big guys enough to be multi-millionaires. They don't have to. They could pay 6 figures and still be paying more than their competition for most of their guys. The UFC is ahead of the curve on where they "have" to pay their fighters, it's just that particular curve is far behind the "how much the UFC is making" curve.

In the business world, that's called "good for the owner". Considering the Fertittas went something like $36M in the hold between buying the UFC and running it the first 3 years, good for them.
 

Konstantin K

Big League Poster
Aug 25, 2010
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#15
The only really big name I can recall that the UFC hasn't gotten recently (and let's be honest: it's only been in the last few years the UFC's really had the money to go after big free agents) is Fedor. And it's not like the UFC didn't go all out to get Fedor: he just wanted something that was impossible for the UFC to give him.

And in retrospect, can you really say that the UFC should have signed Fedor to the deal he wanted? Seriously, dude's been over the hill for a while and it's pretty obvious.
Aw shit, I hope mills comes by soon to tell you how wrong you are.
 

JMCC

Registered User
Oct 4, 2004
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#16
The problem between ESPN and the UFC doesn't lie in most/any of the guys you actually see on TV. Dana has stated before that the young guys you see on TV often love the UFC. The old dudes you don't see (execs and producers) hate the UFC. They're straight-up boxing guys, and that shows in what they put on.

Now, do I fully buy that? No, not really. There are reasons why big boxing matches aren't shown on Sportscenter, either: PPV event finals don't go on Sportscenter the week they're on. Period. It's why you only see still shots, if that, for big boxing PPVs. The UFC has decided that showing video from their PPVs isn't allowed, even months or weeks after the PPVs. If you watch Inside MMA on HDNet, you'll notice that UFC events never have video of the finishes. At best, there are some clips from earlier in the fight, but never the finishes. The UFC is ruthless about controlling their content, if only to sell "Best Of The Knockouts!" videos. That frankly limits what ESPN can do to promote PPV sports, including boxing. ESPN doesn't support Don King, Bob Arum, or Oscar de la Hoya more than they do Dana White. They're pretty critical of King, Arum and White.

OTOH, ESPN still promotes boxing by, for all intents and purposes, being their own boxing promoter. But that requires pretty big juice to be a promoter: you need to lay out a lot of money for a venue, for fighter pay, etc. The guys making those kinds of decisions aren't MMA guys. They're boxing guys, at best. Which is why ESPN doesn't promote MMA in general, but does promote boxing in general, though it fails to promote specific boxing promotions just as it fails to promote the UFC.

Do I think ESPN is "out to get" the UFC? Eh. I think it's more a case that the ESPN big wigs are apathetic at best about MMA and are fans of boxing if they're fans of combat sports at all. I can see the same kind of hatchet job on Don King and Top Rank: as a matter of fact, King sued ESPN for defamation.

Do I think this particular hatchet job was unfair? Largely, yes. ESPN only had on anti-UFC guys in their piece. The closest to a pro-UFC guy was their own MMA reporter, who was at best neutral.

I don't buy into a lot of the "ESPN covers X better because they have a contract with them and Y worse because they don't" stuff. CBS has the SEC contract, and ESPN sucks the SEC's dick (deservedly: it's a nice, big fat one) every chance they get. I seriously think there are personal prejudices among the programming guys at ESPN, and it shows in their reporting.

The UFC and MMA are new sports. A 30 year old guy at a UFC event is above median age. A 30 year old exec or producer at ESPN can't call the shots on what brand of toilet paper is in the restrooms at ESPN.
I haven't watch Inside MMA since I switched to TWC, but that's not true Mark Cuban: HDNet's "Inside MMA" to get UFC access, may host on-site shows
 

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
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#17
I haven't watch Inside MMA since I switched to TWC, but that's not true Mark Cuban: HDNet's "Inside MMA" to get UFC access, may host on-site shows
I stand by my previous statement. I do have HDNet and watch Inside MMA all the time.

Inside MMA doesn't show the finishes. They shows clips of the fights, which is more than ESPN does, but they don't show the finishes. For Inside MMA's year end show, handing out the "Bozzies", it was particularly noticeable when a UFC fight won "best submission of the year" or "best kick of the year" and they couldn't actually show the submission or the kick (if it was a UFC knockout kick, which it was IIRC).

The article you linked doesn't actually dispute what I said...
 

Your_Moms_Box

Free Shit / Socialism 2016
Dec 20, 2004
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#19
This little video kinda summarizes the UFC vs. Boxing pay issue pretty well...

[yt]Fbbs5nKXliU[/yt]
 

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
10,309
2,650
586
#20
This little video kinda summarizes the UFC vs. Boxing pay issue pretty well...

[yt]Fbbs5nKXliU[/yt]
Yup, that's a brilliant video. It would be great if the smart, good-looking, rich, and charming OP of this thread included it in the OP...

:rolleyes:

Sent from my fucking phone, so I'm going to misspell shit.
 

Fustercluck

Registered User
Jul 25, 2005
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#21
I'm not old nor do i watch golf or basketball, ESPN has been useless to me and most of my friends for the last decade. I don't think i sat and watched a full episode of sportscenter since sometime in the late 90's.
 

Frankie_b

Talk softly and drive a big tank!
Aug 31, 2009
12,720
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#22
[video=youtube;O7neKshmjzI]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7neKshmjzI&feature=youtu.be[/video]

not sure if correct thread for this as i havent read a word posted here
 

Guilty Spark

It's freeing and refreshing
May 4, 2005
6,376
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#23
I predict Poker on TV. Everyone I know who was into MMA a year ago has already grown bored with it.
 

Norm Stansfield

私は亀が好きだ。
Mar 17, 2009
15,949
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#24
What does that tell you, if the best LW fighter of MFC couldn't even beat a fighter who by all measures still isn't consider elite?
It tells me that the cause is one of 3 possible causes:
1. the MFC is an inferior organizaton
2. McKee had an unusually bad fight
3. Volkmann had an unusually great fight

I'll go as far as to say it's most likely nr. 1. It doesn't tell me that the UFC has the best fighters in the world.
The UFC pays their big guys enough to be multi-millionaires. They don't have to.
That's the point. They don't have to, because unlike other major sports, there aren't competing organizations, trying to outbid each other, and even more importantly, trying to defeat each other in a sporting competition.

The competition takes place in the field of marketing, not in a cage. The people doing the hiring are interested in providing the best marketing, and to a lesser extent the best entertainment, for the least amount of money spent on athletes. Their interest is not to get the best performance, because there is no competition in the cage. To the people doing the hiring, it doesn't matter who wins. Their guy wins either way.

In the MLB, the primary concern has to be to get the best performer, because the goal is to field a winning team. That is why their main obsessions are: grabbing young talent and investing years into developing them, and scouting for existing talent and buying them.

To me, that proves that the MLB has the best talent. But I have seen no proof that the UFC does. Trying to just watch the games and decide that their fighters are the best, or going on the instances when a famous fighter from another league joins the UFC, especially as someone without fighting experience, is just silly.

P.S. From a marketing perspective (which, like I said, is their primary concern), it would also be in the UFC's interest to avoid hiring a fighter from another league that will beat their guys. That would put into question the official claim that they are leaps ahead of anyone else.

Not saying that proves they didn't want to hire Fedor, btw. But it is something that points to that, and it's just as strong a piece of evidence as all the circumstantial evidence you guys brought up.
 

Your_Moms_Box

Free Shit / Socialism 2016
Dec 20, 2004
5,755
468
628
Dover, Delaware
#25
Yup, that's a brilliant video. It would be great if the smart, good-looking, rich, and charming OP of this thread included it in the OP...

:rolleyes:

Sent from my fucking phone, so I'm going to misspell shit.
Yeah, I didn't watch the video in the first post, I assumed it was the actual segment....

I'm a fucktard...