Five years ago this week, UFC signed a deal with FOX. It was a huge increase in exposure for the sport of MMA, which otherwise had only been on CBS for Strikeforce events. Dana White said one of their goals would be to educate the larger masses on what the sport was really all about. The following is Jamie Penick’s analysis of White’s goal, originally published Aug. 23, 2011 at MMATorch.
“We live in a bubble in our [UFC Las Vegas] offices and take it for granted people know what armbars, guillotines, and triangle chokes are. Nobody knows what this [stuff] means. We have to view [Fox programming] as if nobody knows anything about this sport, that [think] people die in this cage. We’re going to educate the masses, treat it like nobody knows who we are. I think our [hardcore] audience understands that’s necessary.”
-UFC President Dana White talks to The LA Times about the plan to educate new fans of the UFC when they make their debut on Fox on Nov. 12.
Penick’s Analysis: There’s going to have to be some level of education given to those who will very likely be seeing the UFC for the first time on Fox, and it’s smart of the UFC to anticipate that and put a plan in place to really make this a successful venture. This Fox debut will bring more viewers than for any MMA event ever seen on television, and it’s important that the UFC does what they can do to make it accessible to both new fans and those that are already in love with the sport. I think they can do that, and I’m excited to see just how they accomplish that.