The article written by James Goyder in MMAMania on July 29th regarding the SFL may be the single most irresponsible piece of journalism I have ever seen in my 21 years as a sports agent and now promoter. The piece is speculative, assumptive and devoid of any reputable sources. Given the lack of research or confirmation, it logically follows that Mr. Goyder has ulterior motives other than reporting fact in writing such an article. A phone call or email to any executive at the SFL would have answered any of the questions he posed and then leaped to such ridiculous conclusions.
The facts and inaccuracies in Mr. Goyder's article:
- The SFL 4 event was pushed back three weeks so as to feature the finals of the Challengers reality show. With the filming scheduled to conclude the final week of August and our broadcast partner wanting to air the finals, a couple of weeks were needed to air the final episodes and give the participants a few weeks to prepare for the event. Mr. Goyder makes the gigantic and irresponsible leap by stating "it seems probable that they have been cancelled." Really because they aren't on the site? Did you bother to ask anyone at the SFL? I think the only real conclusion that can be drawn is that Mr. Goyder is a lazy journalist that doesn't bother to do the work to confirm his unsupported theories.
- The Fight Network is NOT in the US it is in Canada. The SFL broadcast deal for the summer in the US is a soon to be announced cable deal that will bring the SFL into 70 million plus households. I am sorry but I fail to see how this is a "last ditch effort to save a sinking ship" and how they have been unsuccessful. The SFL is an Asian company based in India, the North American broadcast deals are merely the color in our sails and in no way effect the buoyancy of the boat. Stop making facts up.
- The issues with Indian fighter Chaitanya Gavli related to behavior at the sponsored Indian training facility where all housing, food, and training is paid for, and had ZERO to do with late payments.
- Dan Isaacs was chosen as the head coach for the reality show because he is a highly decorated Indian marital artist and he speaks Hindi the primary language of the show and the competitors. He has assembled a top staff to support his efforts. Serbian fighter Sanja Sucevic was chosen as the female coach because of her impressive win at SFL 1 and was the first choice for the role. Mr. Goyder would have his readers believe that these choices were made because he SFL somehow couldn't afford anyone else but he fails to provide any source or support for his personal incorrect beliefs.
- Mr. Goyder makes more unsupported and incorrect statements in claiming the SFL has "no prospect of turning a profit anytime soon" when in fact we seek to be cash flow positive THIS YEAR, something that took the UFC 10 plus years and tens of millions of dollars to achieve.
- Ticket sales were not "disastrous" for SFL 1, in fact the event sold out and tickets were not even available the day of the event. SFL 2 also produced a respectable gate while SFL 3 drew a standing room only 12,500 fans. The SFL business model varies dramatically from North American MMA. Ours is sponsor and broadcast driven and gate is not a major consideration for revenue. Even though virtually all IPL Cricket matches sell out 40,000 plus venues, the gate revenue pales in comparison to US events. Why would Mr. Goyder who is supposed to be a journalist not take the time to ask about the model instead of making such uninformed and sensationalized reports? Could it be because he couldn't get into the tickets to the SFL events? Perhaps because he has an ulterior motive in writing this article.
- It would be interesting to know who these "multiple sources" really are and how they have any clue that "the multiple backers" are starting to lose faith. This is incorrect on so many levels.
Ultimately, while claiming to be a journalist, the failure to contact the chairmen, CEO, or even COO to confirm reports or research and to just make unsupported claims displays a level of unprofessionalism that I have never seen in my 21 years in the sports entertainment business. It is unfortunate that this story has been run and given coverage because of the default setting that if it is written it must be true. The truths are the SFL was very pleased with the results from the first three shows, the owners recognized and supported the growth of the events, the Indian fans supported the promotion, the international press covered the events, the model is in place for profitability in year one, and Mr James Goyder could have done a much better job with this piece if he had just taken the time to do his diligence and gotten answers to the questions he posed and answered on his own... oh and is NOT the beginning of the end for the Super Fight League.
Pavia came on The Underground, and made the explosive charge that the author of the piece does work for Asia's One FC:
Member Since: 1/1/01
I have been told by numerous sources today that James does PR for One FC. Cheap attempt to discredit competition.