MMA has all but pushed boxing into obscurity

by Jim Williams | source:

Mixed Martial Arts is the fastest growing sport in the United States and TV networks can't seem to get shows covering it on the air fast enough. CBS, Showtime, VERSUS, Spike TV and even ESPN are increasing their coverage of the sport.

It has all but pushed boxing into obscurity and MMA's already large following continues to increase at a pace that other mainstream sports can only dream of seeing.

Andrew Simon, CEO of HDNet Fights, has the distinction of running the network with the most MMA programming in the world. The channel is seen locally on DirecTV, Verizon Fios and is coming soon to Comcast.

We talked recently about what makes the sport so popular.

Simon on what makes the sport fun to watch » There is non-stop action -- it combines so many different types of fighting. There is punching like in boxing, take downs like in wrestling and the use of the legs as weapons like is the case in a number of popular martial arts disciplines. So you have fighters who need to be versed in a number of differ types of combat before they become champions in this sport.

Simon on how HDNet presents the sport »

We have made Friday night destination viewing for MMA fans. Our plan has been to give viewers a mixture of both live event shows as well as news shows like "Inside MMA" and "Fighting Words with Mike Straka" that allows the audience to get to know the fighters. This month alone we will broadcast five MMA events from four different countries. May 7th, Maximum Fighting Championship from Edmonton; May 14th, Mark Burnett Presents: King of the Cage from New Mexico; May 21st, K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 in Bucharest; May 28th, the K-1 World Max Final 16 from Japan; and on the 29th, the DREAM 14 in Japan.

Simon on the MMA audience »

The most important demographic measures, including income and education. The MMA fan base represents higher levels versus the overall population: approximately 47 percent of the fan base has an average household income over $75,000 and approximately 57 percent of the fan base has a college education. MMA [demographics] are approximately 80 percent of the audience is male and approximately 56 percent of fans are aged 18-34.


Worth noting is that MMA pay-per-view telecasts have crushed wresting and are gaining on boxing numbers. There is no doubt that MMA is here to stay and is a force in the sports world.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.

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Recent Comments »

HexRei site profile image  

5/12/10 4:35 AM by HexRei

so many people trolled by an article

ScottCL site profile image  

5/12/10 3:19 AM by ScottCL

Boxing pushed itself into a niche a long long time ago. Obscurity though? Never.

PoundforPound site profile image  

5/12/10 3:12 AM by PoundforPound

1.4 million PPV buys actually. See the post right above yours.

OldManMinerva site profile image  

5/12/10 1:13 AM by OldManMinerva

by god! You mean to tell me they use legs in the fighting like the orientals?Truly fascinating, what will modern man think of next...

JimmersonzGlove site profile image  

5/12/10 1:05 AM by JimmersonzGlove

 I'm a way bigger MMA fan than boxing fan, but boxing just did 1.2 million PPV buys 2 weekends ago...a number UFC has only topped once in its history...and the Super Six has been awesome. I'm fired up for Ward vs Green.

Slipperypescado site profile image  

5/11/10 10:46 PM by Slipperypescado

ttt for obscurity!old people must have bought in force!!Mayweather-Mosley pulls in $78 million and 1.4 million PPV buyssource:

JetSetter site profile image  

5/11/10 1:00 AM by JetSetter

Guys in boxing still making more in one fight than the total UFC payroll for a year and thats obscurity??? Thats fucking ridiculous. I can understan the "HOMER" mentality but thats the stupidest shit ive heard in a long time.

The James site profile image  

5/10/10 11:04 PM by The James

 Only words I read in that piece that I gave a shit about were "coming soon to Comcast." Fucking FINALLY.

White347LX site profile image  

5/10/10 9:11 PM by White347LX

Boxing fans are old people.

tenchu site profile image  

5/10/10 9:08 PM by tenchu

So true.BTW, it was great seeing ESPN's increased coverage of The Sweeter Science this weekend.Tenchu- Roy Jones Jr. fan