Q: If you were Bellator, would you prioritize signing Mike Goldberg, even if the price was relatively steep, just to give Bellator one of the most recognizable faces and voices on their Spike TV broadcasts helping to give major league credibility to the brand and to the fighters in the ring? Or would you stick with Sean Grande as your announcer?
MICHAEL HISCOE, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
There are pros and cons to Bellator signing and utilizing Mike Goldberg. First a pro: Goldberg is a recognizable name and face to MMA fans. Seeing Mike Goldberg on camera could cause fans flipping through the channels (does anyone do that anymore?) to stop and pay attention, and possibly “trick” fans into thinking UFC is on their TV. Another way of saying that is he brings credibility to the product.
The downside of bringing in Goldberg is that it would result in a demotion for Sean Grande who is very good as Bellator’s play-by-play guy. You also risk Bellator developing a reputation as a place where UFC castoffs go, which actually hurts their credibility. Goldberg’s departure was well publicized so it would be difficult to spin a Goldberg singing as stealing him away from UFC.
Bellator is running fairly regularly these days so Goldberg could be used sparingly on bigger shows, no more than once a month, as a sort of signal to fans that this is a “big” show worthy of tuning in for. On the flip side, that can teach fans which shows they are able to skip, which isn’t something they want either.
Overall, I think the expense Mike Goldberg would likely bring, along with potential downsides and dilemmas for how and when to use him, make it a signing I would advise against.
COLE HENRY, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I would stick with Sean Grande. As much as I like Goldie, I think that he will be lost without Rogan. It always seemed like Rogan was a crutch for Goldberg. Although he knows the sport well, I’m not sure he would have the same appeal alongside Jimmy Smith. I think it’s a shame that he is no longer with the UFC, but I don’t have the money to buy the company and change it, so I live with it. Begrudgingly.
ROBERT VALLEJOS, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Unless Bellator can get a heavily discounted Mike Goldberg, I don’t see a lot of value to bringing him in. While he is getting a lot of love since his UFC departure, would his presence significantly boost their ratings? As is, the Bellator commentary team does an adequate job. My problem with their presentation is that is feels like a knockoff UFC broadcast from five years ago. Bringing in Goldberg does little to separate Bellator from the UFC.
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