Thanks to the gang at MMAMania.com, I was finally able to see what the big hub-bub was in regards to Bill O’Reilly’s anti-MMA comments made on his nightly show, the “O’Reilly Factor.”
What he had to say wasn’t pretty but I don’t think his comments will have a positive or negative impact. I’m sure his core group of viewers support his viewpoint but are those the same viewers that would watch MMA anyway?
You can watch the video below but you’ll need to forward to the 2:15 mark as much of the segment is focused on discussing the biggest bust in network TV news history, Katie Couric.
Watch the video and then chime in with your thoughts about the following question: is negative press surrounding EliteXC’s deal with CBS good for the company?
I tend to think negative attention could help in this case because it’s not only going to get the word out, but it’s going to get people curious. A lot of people are going to tune in expecting a horror show. While they will see it’s a brutal sport, they will also see that it is not as bad as what they had envisioned.
At the end of the day though, the question as to whether MMA is viable on network TV won’t be answered by Bill O’Reilly. It will be answered by the number of people who tune in to watch the show on Saturday, May 31 at 9 p.m. ET. If a lot of people tune in, it we’ll see more MMA on primetime national TV. If not enough tune in, then it’ll be restricted to basic cable, premium cable, and pay-per-view.
If MMA doesn’t make it on national TV, it won’t be the worst thing in the world because the sport isn’t going anywhere like it did in 1997. It’s still going to be around and it will still be compelling. I still want to see it thrive on national television though and the reason is because of the fighters. They make so many sacrifices in their life to reach their full potential and put themselves at great risk every time they fight. I’d like to see the guys who get paid thousands of dollars per fight to start getting tens of thousands; I’d like to see the guys who get tends of thousands to start getting hundreds of thousands; and I’d like to see the guys getting hundreds of thousands start getting millions.
I think the only way we’re going to see the fighters start getting more for their efforts is if the sport continues to grow, and there might not be a better way to grow the sport than on network television.