What is the most positive thing to come out of UFC’s relationship with FOX?
Frank Hyden, Columnist – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Being on network television a handful of times per year, which of course they then bungled by putting a bunch of non-interesting fights on the cards as well as unpopular fighters and also pacing the shows in almost the worst way possible. At the same time, they have developed a stable of personalities and commentators from being on the various FOX networks so they have more options to choose from when it comes to who does the announcing on their shows.
Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch Managing Editor
One aspect of UFC’s production that I think improved during the FOX era was the more sports-like presentation. The changes were subtle and incremental over time, but a 2018 UFC event looks and feels quite different than it did on Spike from 2005-2011. For example, the use of live statistics during fights is something we saw very little prior to FOX and now it is a regular feature of television and pay-per-view events. Terms such as significant strikes or control time, once only part of a Fightmetric report you may see the day after a fight, are now part of the MMA vocabulary and a regular part of a UFC broadcast. As Frank mentioned, using current or former fighters at a sports desk to provide commentary before and after fights also gives the product a “legitimate” sports feel. This legitimacy is something UFC had been working on for quite some time, and the FOX deal helped them move closer to that goal. The execution of some of the above was clunky at times, but overall is a net positive to the overall product.
Cole Henry, Live Event Reports
For the hardcore fans I think the Fox deal provided some good fights and production but aside from that, I am not sure about the positives. Being on Fox certainly increased visibility, but the high numbers at the beginning were not sustained. Does this mean people got a taste of MMA and didn’t like it? So basically, I think the biggest positives were for the true fans, they got to see some big fights, great moments, and it was cool seeing the UFC on such a big-time channel.
Sean Covington, Columnist – Covington’s Corner
Different fighters gaining a ton of experience in the field, at the desk and just all around production of the show. It’s great to see those guys get a shot at something beyond the octagon and gives them work in the same field that they love like the athletes of other sports. A big step towards people respecting and accepting MMA as a sport.