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Links for UFC story on CNBC

“Ultimate Fighting: From Blood Sport to Big Time” aired on CNBC last night. I was unable to watch it and forgot to DVR it, but it appears most of the special is available through video clips on

Below are active links (click to view) to the various segments:

1. Fight Night (Dana White)

2. Barbaric Beginnings (Rorion Gracie; my favorite segment)

3. A Fighter’s Story (Rich Franklin)

4. Ultimate Marketing (TapouT)

5. Ultimate Fighting vs. Boxing

6. White on How it Began

7. TapouT (Mask talks about origins of company)

8. Lorenzo Fertitta (Talks about his love for boxing and martial arts)

9. Rorian Gracie (talks more about first UFC event)

10. More Dana White

  • kentyman says:

    The last link is wrong.

  • Kelvin says:

    Show was pretty good…most of it has been covered in previous segment though.

  • MMA SKOOL ™ says:

    CNBC is a piece of crap. Those movies don’t work on a Mac. Why don’t they take a page from YouTube and make universally viewable movies. AARRRG.

  • woooburn says:

    thanks for posting this. completely forgot to watch it. while looking through the links, i noticed this interview dana did with michael eisner in november, that i hadnt seen before. touches on alot of topics (even though eisner interrupts him multiple times).

  • The amount of recent research (as opposed to one-year-old research) that went into the CNBC piece was apparent in the opening seconds when the narrator referred to MMA as one of the fastest-growing sports in America.

    Generally, that would mean revenue was growing at a faster rate than just about any other sport in America. Not only is this not the case with MMA so far in 2007, but the report from Standard & Poor’s showed that revenue is actually slightly down in 2007 compared to 2006. All of this “fastest-growing” talk is outdated terminology from 2006 that no longer applies to the market in late 2007. “Hugely profitable” yes… “fastest-growing” anything, no.

    In the MMA vs. boxing segment, they completely missed the boat on 2007 being a seminal year for “MMA vs. Boxing” in the opposite way as it was in 2006. It was in 2006 that the UFC drew more PPV revenue in the U.S. than any other company, including HBO’s boxing PPV, for the first time in UFC history.

    But 2006 was also boxing’s biggest-money year since 1999, which the piece failed to point out.

    2007 has been a completely different story in the boxing vs. MMA competition, with UFC PPV buyrates slipping slightly and boxing’s PPV buyrates growing significantly amidst a year of successful PPV events and the single biggest PPV event of all time (Mayweather vs. De la Hoya), finishing up with a second mega-event (Mayweather vs. Hatton) that is expected to draw more PPV buys than any event in the UFC’s history, even including the 2006 peak.

    When discussing ticket sales, they failed to point out that there is still a sizable gap between the ticket revenue for top boxing events and the ticket revenue for top MMA events. The UFC’s highest live gate ever is a little under $6 million, while De la Hoya vs. Mayweather drew $19 million at the live gate and Hatton vs. Mayweather will still be well above the $6 million current high-mark for MMA.

    Instead of presenting this up-to-date, late 2007 version of the MMA-Boxing story, it seems that CNBC was content to show the outdated story, just as it would have been in 2006 (or in May 2007 with a quick update to briefly acknowledge De la Hoya vs. Mayweather).

  • I also found it amusing that the new-and-improved version of the so-called “Zuffa Myth” was out in full force. The CNBC report did not repeat the old myth (you know, that Zuffa added all or most of the rules), but it did repeat the newer myth that Zuffa came up with The Ultimate Fighter and then pitched it to TV networks, with Spike TV agreeing to air it.

    In fact, as documented at the time in news stories and stated by Dana White at the time in interviews, the original idea for the UFC’s TV show on Spike TV was a show called “American Promoter” that would focus on the life of an MMA promoter. The UFC’s own ideal scenario would have been for a bi-weekly or monthly live fight show.

    It was Spike TV, not the UFC, that came up with the reality show idea, which the UFC hated but went along with because it was the only way they could strike a deal with Spike TV at the time. Dana White said in many interviews (a clip of one of them is here: that he didn’t like the reality show idea.

    Kudos to CNBC for reporting the facts regarding the circumstances of SEG selling the UFC to Zuffa, with SEG needing Nevada approval to have a hope of a future, and Lorenzo Fertitta helping to block that approval as an NSAC commissioner, and then the conveniently down-and-out SEG selling for peanuts to (coincidentally) Lorenzo Fertitta & Co. That took more research than I thought they’d do.

    If only they had also done their research on the origins of TUF and the business aspects of MMA vs. boxing.


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