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UnderGround Forums >> SpkeExec"Business w/Bellator less risky than w/UFC


1/17/13 12:09 PM
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john joe
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Fighters Only, web/editorial
Steve4192 - 
john joe - 
Steve4192 - 

"What's risky is continuing to spend money on a franchise like the UFC where you don't own it and the rights continue to escalate until you're spending so much money on this stuff and you're not getting anything back. You're building somebody else's brand," Slusser said. "Once we made the investment in Bellator, then the cost of programming (went down). We don't pay a rights fee. There's no more millions going out the door....the financial exposure is not as great.

So much for all those folks who think Viacom is going to give Bellator a blank check.

It seems pretty clear this move was all about cost-containment. 
 


no, cost-containment was in respect of the UFC which was a third-party brand that they didnt own and which eventually flew the nest.

 

This is why Viacom bought Bellator FC outright, or near as dammit, immediately upon the Spike deal coming into existence. So that the dollars they pour in arent going to then wander off into a FOX-red sunset

Viacom is about to pump big money into Bellator; where do you think Bellator gets the idea to match the UFC's $250,000 signing bonus etc? Thats Viacom money not BFC money. It will also be Viacom money that secures some big-name services in the near future, if all goes to plan for them...


Why did the UFC leave Spike?

 

Because Spike wasn't willing to pay them.  Viacom has no one to blame for the UFC flying the coop but themselves.  The whole scenario was kicked off because Viacom wasn't willing to pay market price for top-shelf MMA programming.  They let the UFC go and bought Bellator because they don't want to spend $100MM/year on MMA programming.  They'd rather spend $20MM/year for a second-tier product that they control.


Spike obviously felt they had played a big part in building a brand which was then turning round and asking them for full market big-brand rate on a re-up. So they declined and now they are gonna see if they can build another big brand in MMA but one which they own and which cant try, in their eyes, to fuck them on pricing. Thats why the breakup got so pissy, Spike felt the UFC owed them something and were asking far too much after what had been done for them. Rightly or wrongly; i dont necessarily agree but that was the undercurrent
1/17/13 12:11 PM
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lifeaftrprison
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The tourney format does not allow for continuing viewership. If you have a favorite fighter for whatever reason and he loses well you lost interest. It's not a team who you follow no matter what because they keep having games a fighter takes multiple losses and is now gone. Thus his fans will too. For instance I am a huge mma fan and found myself not watching as much once a fighter I knew lost in 2 tourneys. Just my take on why the tourney format will not work for a casual fan. Phone Post
1/17/13 12:15 PM
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Steve4192
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Edited: 01/17/13 12:16 PM
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john joe - 
Steve4192 - 
john joe - 
Steve4192 - 

"What's risky is continuing to spend money on a franchise like the UFC where you don't own it and the rights continue to escalate until you're spending so much money on this stuff and you're not getting anything back. You're building somebody else's brand," Slusser said. "Once we made the investment in Bellator, then the cost of programming (went down). We don't pay a rights fee. There's no more millions going out the door....the financial exposure is not as great.

So much for all those folks who think Viacom is going to give Bellator a blank check.

It seems pretty clear this move was all about cost-containment. 
 


no, cost-containment was in respect of the UFC which was a third-party brand that they didnt own and which eventually flew the nest.

 

This is why Viacom bought Bellator FC outright, or near as dammit, immediately upon the Spike deal coming into existence. So that the dollars they pour in arent going to then wander off into a FOX-red sunset

Viacom is about to pump big money into Bellator; where do you think Bellator gets the idea to match the UFC's $250,000 signing bonus etc? Thats Viacom money not BFC money. It will also be Viacom money that secures some big-name services in the near future, if all goes to plan for them...


Why did the UFC leave Spike?

 

Because Spike wasn't willing to pay them.  Viacom has no one to blame for the UFC flying the coop but themselves.  The whole scenario was kicked off because Viacom wasn't willing to pay market price for top-shelf MMA programming.  They let the UFC go and bought Bellator because they don't want to spend $100MM/year on MMA programming.  They'd rather spend $20MM/year for a second-tier product that they control.


Spike obviously felt they had played a big part in building a brand which was then turning round and asking them for full market big-brand rate on a re-up. So they declined and now they are gonna see if they can build another big brand in MMA but one which they own and which cant try, in their eyes, to fuck them on pricing. Thats why the breakup got so pissy, Spike felt the UFC owed them something and were asking far too much after what had been done for them. Rightly or wrongly; i dont necessarily agree but that was the undercurrent

 

I'm sure they do feel that way.  I'm equally sure that the UFC feels they made SpikeTV and deserved a premium for being the driving force behind the growth of the network from 2005-2011.  I'm of the opinion that the truth is somewhere in the middle and neither of them owe the other any kind of special consideration.  It was a symbiotic relationship.  The remora doesn't "owe" the shark anything and vice versa.  Their relationship is mutually beneficial while it lasts, but the remora is free to switch sharks if it feels like it, and the shark is free to eat that fucking remora if he is feeling peckish.

 

1/17/13 12:20 PM
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MMALOGIC
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john joe - 
Steve4192 - 

"What's risky is continuing to spend money on a franchise like the UFC where you don't own it and the rights continue to escalate until you're spending so much money on this stuff and you're not getting anything back. You're building somebody else's brand," Slusser said. "Once we made the investment in Bellator, then the cost of programming (went down). We don't pay a rights fee. There's no more millions going out the door....the financial exposure is not as great.

So much for all those folks who think Viacom is going to give Bellator a blank check.

It seems pretty clear this move was all about cost-containment. 
 


no, cost-containment was in respect of the UFC which was a third-party brand that they didnt own and which eventually flew the nest.

 

This is why Viacom bought Bellator FC outright, or near as dammit, immediately upon the Spike deal coming into existence. So that the dollars they pour in arent going to then wander off into a FOX-red sunset

Viacom is about to pump big money into Bellator; where do you think Bellator gets the idea to match the UFC's $250,000 signing bonus etc? Thats Viacom money not BFC money. It will also be Viacom money that secures some big-name services in the near future, if all goes to plan for them...


what big names are they going after besides rampage?  yeah, they're telling every UFC fighter to test the free market because they want an opportunity to bid but what UFC fighter besides rampage is planning on testing the free market? 

BJ Penn is somewhat of a free agent... you think he's gonna go to a rinky dink promotion? his ego wouldnt allow him to fight sub par competition.

Rampage may go because he cant beat anyone in the UFC.

Affliction and Bodog tried the same thing... waving around millions. the only guy Zuffa lost was arlovski.

they were paying 35m a year for the UFC...  elitexc and ifl burned through more than that trying to compete with the UFC.  let's say they use 35m... they gotta pay for product (zuffa produced everything) which brings it down to around 20 to 25. 

Alot of money will be going into producing the reality show and you got around 29 live events you have to produce... im sure sam caplan is gonna want a raise after hearing about eddie's signing bonus.

they cant even keep eddie.  how are they gonna go after UFC guys? if they really matched or close to matched why would eddie get into a legal battle over it?  eddie is trying to get out of bellator but UFC guys are gonna want to go in?

Let's do it this way:

at best spike/viacom is willing to spend 35 million a year (which i doubt, but ok)...   Zuffa has 90m just from fox. You add in Globo money from brazil, rogers sportsnet money from canada,  PPV, merchandise, video game sales, etc..  spike is fighting in quick sand.

Just from a network perspective, spike will never be able to monetize mma the way fox will.  spike will never be able to get the advertisers fox can.  this means every star that's worth 1 dollar to spike will be worth roughly 2 dollars to fox.  Even more to the UFC.   That's an improbable environment to have to compete in.

Look at spikes programming... it's all shit.  they dont compete with any real network for any type of programming.  Some may have some illusions of grandeur but im sure viacom is hoping at best that they can have a "tna" in mma to UFC's "wwe".  and they arent gonna spend "wwe" money for a "tna".

having said that, it all comes down to ratings.  if they are promising their are signs that they can in fact compete with the UFC im sure they will invest more.   but at the end of the day even with the killer ratings UFC was pulling on spike viacom still couldnt compete with fox for it because they cant monetize.  that's why they are happy with TNA and manswers type of products.

right now they are acting like bitter old girlfriends but they'll come back to reality soon.

1/17/13 12:21 PM
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liquidrob
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lifeaftrprison -  The tourney format does not allow for continuing viewership. If you have a favorite fighter for whatever reason and he loses well you lost interest. It's not a team who you follow no matter what because they keep having games a fighter takes multiple losses and is now gone. Thus his fans will too. For instance I am a huge mma fan and found myself not watching as much once a fighter I knew lost in 2 tourneys. Just my take on why the tourney format will not work for a casual fan. Phone Post

How is that differnt if someone losses anyway? Guys is Bellator lose in a tourney and still have fights unless they're cut

I never understood the anti tournament or GP format, this is sports, guys win and move on to face others who have won
1/17/13 12:25 PM
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liquidrob
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I don't see Bellator dropping huge money on guys, not there way, they will takea couple shots at some names but they won't break the bank for guys

They will find great prospects like they have been and put them through the tournament and see who shines, they will use money to keep there guys instead of looking to sign big free agents
1/17/13 12:27 PM
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Cyril Jeff
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lifeaftrprison -  The tourney format does not allow for continuing viewership. If you have a favorite fighter for whatever reason and he loses well you lost interest. It's not a team who you follow no matter what because they keep having games a fighter takes multiple losses and is now gone. Thus his fans will too. For instance I am a huge mma fan and found myself not watching as much once a fighter I knew lost in 2 tourneys. Just my take on why the tourney format will not work for a casual fan. Phone Post

 

great post imo.

1/17/13 12:33 PM
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MMALOGIC
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liquidrob - Lol @ the tournament format is a failure

SF did there highest rating when they went to the GP format


the GP was a great success... agreed.  but a Pride style GP and what bellator is doing is completely different.  first, pride scoured for the best and most marketable talent (and to some extent so did SF) and they had one GP going on at a time maybe 2 at most spaced out. 

Bellator is launching a different tournament every week.  then mixing them on the same cards as they wittle down. it doesnt work.  it's not my opionion... it's the market talking.  what they are doing hasnt worked in the marketplace as evidenced by their numbers compared to other promotions.

1/17/13 12:46 PM
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Unseen
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Steve4192 -
Broder - Just think if Zuffa had not bought Strikeforce it would probably be Strikeforce on Spike right now. The Zuffa/Fox deal might not have even happened if Strikeforce was still in the game under Coker and SEG. Could have been very interesting times for MMA right now. Whatever Zuffa paid for Strikeforce it was a steal.

Why would Strikeforce be on Spike?

 

They would still be contractually obligated to CBS/Showtime, not Viacom.

CBS, Showtime, and Spike are all under Viacom. Phone Post
1/17/13 4:33 PM
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lifeaftrprison
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liquidrob -
lifeaftrprison -  The tourney format does not allow for continuing viewership. If you have a favorite fighter for whatever reason and he loses well you lost interest. It's not a team who you follow no matter what because they keep having games a fighter takes multiple losses and is now gone. Thus his fans will too. For instance I am a huge mma fan and found myself not watching as much once a fighter I knew lost in 2 tourneys. Just my take on why the tourney format will not work for a casual fan. Phone Post

How is that differnt if someone losses anyway? Guys is Bellator lose in a tourney and still have fights unless they're cut

I never understood the anti tournament or GP format, this is sports, guys win and move on to face others who have won
Because they will wash out of the tourney. And it will lose the interest of those fans. Then you have to rebuild interest in a new batch of talent. Now they're gone again if they lose a couple times. In the Pride GP it was after each fighter built a base on matchups then they were put into a GP format. Therefore you won't lose fans once they lose , because they have other schedules fights during the year. It allows you to continue viewing a specific fighter regardless of the GP outcome. Phone Post
1/17/13 6:06 PM
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SmackyBear
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Steve4192 -
Broder - Just think if Zuffa had not bought Strikeforce it would probably be Strikeforce on Spike right now. The Zuffa/Fox deal might not have even happened if Strikeforce was still in the game under Coker and SEG. Could have been very interesting times for MMA right now. Whatever Zuffa paid for Strikeforce it was a steal.

Why would Strikeforce be on Spike?

 

They would still be contractually obligated to CBS/Showtime, not Viacom.

CBS, Showtime, and Spike are all under Viacom. Phone Post

Viacom spun off from CBS (again) about a decade ago. They do still have the same majority owners, but they don't share anymore.

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