Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #34

2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions #206 Ken Shamrock

As I was filing this card away into the really short stack of other Goodwins I have, I noticed how isolated this card (because of its number) seemed from the rest of the set. A quick hike to eBay (one for sale for $8.50 shipped) and COMC (none for sale), let me know that this was a rare super short print. This is another one of those cards that make me say, "Should I ever decide to build this set..."

Not now, though. Too many other priorities.

But let's talk MMA for a moment. Here's my number one reason I can't get more excited about it: Pay-Per-View.

Call me a cheapskate, but I'm not going to pay $40 (or whatever it is) for something I'm not even sure I like. Back a few years ago when EliteXC tried to get going on free TV by hyping Kimbo Slice, I was all over that. Yes, the pre-match hype and backstories seemed to go on for ever, but the action was exciting and engaging. EliteXC tanked, and no network since CBS has tried to pick the sport up again, at least in prime time.

Think about it this way: Say football was an up-and-coming sport right now. You are interested in it, but all of the NFL games (and BCS conference team games) are shown on PPV only. You can get some football games on basic cable and over-the-air HD, but these are Arena League and CFL games, plus a reality show about a group of guys competing for an NFL roster spot. If you're not currently watching the best, and the only way to is to pay a large amount of money, is it going to be easy for you to become a bog football fan?

That's what I'm saying the UFC (MMA's de facto leading circuit in this country) is like. And it's not that I don't like the sport, I think it's great and I respect the difficulty of it and commitment of its athletes. I've even read the book Blood in the Cage, which is centered around the career of Pat Miletich. It's just not something I'm willing to pay for.

But what do I know, right? Dana White's business model looks like it's succeeding with or without my help. Thoughts on this? Anyone reading this order these PPV events?


AdamE said...

This is what the Ultimate Fighter series is all about. It is a tournament on regular tv. The winners become contract fighters along with anyone else that showed promise. The beginning of a season is usually not quite as good as teh end so don't watch the first episode and quit.

You can also go watch a PPV at a sports bar, sometimes for free, or sometimes with a small cover. Alcohol and fighting what a great mix.

Corky said...

Spike, VS Network, NBC and Showtime all have contracts with UFC, WEC & Strikeforce (respectively).They may not all be network television but with cable and satellite tv most of the country has access to these channels.

And if you think about it, the business model has worked for Vince McMahon quite well. Plus The Ultimate Fighter is one of the top rated shows on Spike.

Though you make a point, paying to watch championship fights is not something I am willing to do especially considering that within minutes of the fight ending you will find the results online.