How the NHL Can Increase Its Fan Base

Coming off the Winter Classic on January 2nd, NHL executives are looking to capitalize on the increased viewership of the novelty game and build on it. The contest had nearly fifty thousand fans in attendance along with a national audience on NBC. The Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers provided an entertaining afternoon of action culminating with a penalty shot near the end of regulation.

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Lessons Learned from Ultimate Fighter Finale

I had the privilege to watch the Ultimate Fighter finale over the weekend from the Palms. Witnessing these world class athletes in the octagon is a worthy culmination to season fourteen. Michael Bisping manhandled Jason “Mayhem” Miller in the final bout of the evening. The duo between the coaches made me ponder what is in store for fighters after their careers. I decided to provide some options for those who are in search of a second job opportunity.

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UFC & FOX Partnership Details Emerging

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The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s television deal with Fox, FX, and Fuel TV is set to last 7 years according to details of the arrangement publicized over the last few days. The new partnership will officially kick off with a November 12 fight card in Anaheim, California to be broadcast on FOX. The combatants who will represent the UFC will set the tone for the deal and also help the UFC make a major statement about the popularity of MMA compared to boxing. The show will air the same night Manny Pacquiao faces off with Juan Manuel Marquez as part of a Pay-Per-View boxing card from Las Vegas.

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Five for Fighting: Georgetown Hoyas Brawl Needed these 5 People

The Big East is represented in China at the moment by none other than the Georgetown Hoyas. The supposed goodwill tour recently included a bench clearing brawl. This leaves a black mark for the moment on the university, but as usual John Thompson III has a measured response in not hastily cancelling future contests.

Some more muscle could have assisted the Hoyas in achieving greater success in the melee.

Iron Mike Tyson is a prime example of someone who could have taken care of business on the court with the frenzy. He does have a softer side now as a supposed family man, but he still has to be all kinds of crazy to have that kind of affection for pigeons. If I had that hobby, the last thing in the world that I would be looking to do is broadcast it to the world.

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How Underpaid are UFC Fighters? Boxers Getting a Better Deal?

It’s no secret that the UFC is raking in money hand over fist (see the CNBC documentary special “UFC: a fistful of Dollars” if you get a chance- it’s great), but where that money goes is actually apparent to no one. The mixed martial arts (MMA) company is selling out arenas all over the world. It just held its biggest ever promotion in North America on April 30th when it sold 55,724 seats at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada, for a live gate of $12.1 million.

Yet the fighters are still being paid peanuts when compared to other sports, especially boxing.

This has led Nick Diaz, who’s signed with Strikeforce, to say he wants to enter boxing to make some real money.

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Mixed Martial Arts May be Key to Saving New York State Budget

new york legalizes mma

With the New York state deficit hitting $8 billion, steps need to be taken in order to right the ship that is the state’s budget. Recently New York Gov. David Paterson stated that the projected deficit for the upcoming fiscal year has grown by an additional $750 million. There’s no doubting that the Empire State is in dire straits trying to fix their deficit.  It is extremely difficult trying to balance a state budget at a time when the country as a whole is going through some of its most difficult economic hurdles in recent history.

This forces us to take a fresh look at which programs will continue to receive funding. As a result, the state has been forced to cut, reject, and outright shut down many state programs and projects in order to make some type of movement out of the red and back into the black. Many of these budget cuts (like closing down state parks and cutting funding to public schools) were rampant and have cast an unfavorable light on politicians in Albany in the eyes of many New Yorkers. However, something must be done in order to fight the ailing state economy. As coincidence has it, a good fight might just be the answer to the budget problems.

By Alexia Krause

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UFC Media Coverage Rules- Dana’s World

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By Chad Wuttke

The growth of MMA has brought the sport ever closer to the mainstream, and at this critical time, the relationship between MMA promotions and the media is increasingly important.  Exposure through the internet has taken a back seat to more traditional forms of media thanks to some procedural, and sometimes political, changes. Recent moves by UFC President Dana White appear to have catered to the print media, or what he calls, “real media”.  As a result, the internet is often left with only table scraps.  The question is, when will Dana warm up to the internet?

A recent article titled “Dana White vs. Internet Media” (see: WatchKalibRun.com) urges Dana White to allow more internet media coverage and also let internet reporters be credentialed at UFC events.  The problem lies with that fact that the article is the same type of self-serving content that Dana White is talking about.  There are literally dozens and possibly hundreds of goofy-titled websites dedicated to MMA.  Is everyone entitled to a piece of the UFC pie?

First, a general question:  How do you become a “member of the media?”  Can anyone start a website to air their thoughts on MMA and call themselves “media?”  We’re now talking about potentially thousands of bloggers out there who claim to be media and feel entitled to access that the general public isn’t given.

Sure, consumers need content, and the masses will go to reliable and credible content before they go to biased providers.  White has stated before that he reads the forums and realizes there are some intelligent things being written, and some things that are utterly insane.  Point is, those are fans being fans, not fans being reporters.

Dana White isn’t stupid.  The UFC was bought for 2 million dollars in 2001 and is now worth over a billion.  He has a track record of being one step ahead of everyone else in the MMA realm.  Let’s not forget, he is the CEO of a business.  He’s got the UFC’s best interests in mind and will do whatever it takes to protect its image and its future.  We’ve all learned that when you burn a bridge with Dana White, you don’t build it back.  The website Sherdog.com knows that all too well and an episode not so long ago may be the best demonstration of why White is skittish when it comes to the internet.

Dana White has long maintained a Chris Brown/Rihanna style relationship with the internet media; particularly with Sherdog.  White says it’s because of numerous backstabbing moments by Sherdog, including one time in which they outright threatened to cover more Pride than UFC.

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The issue hit its peak when Dana White unleashed a tirade against Loretta Hunt and Sherdog after Hunt wrote an article depicting Dana White driving a wedge between fighters and their managers and/or agents.  The controversial rant included 42 f-bombs and a certain gay slur that Dana White was forced to apologize for.  The video went viral and it led to hundreds of “Is Dana White bad for the UFC?” write-ups in both print and online.  Soon after, UFC 100 broke every MMA pay-per-view record there was, proving Dana’s antics left no lasting impression.

So, when will Dana White warm up to the internet?  Bottom line:  He doesn’t have to.
Dana White owns the younger demographic.  With aspirations of being the biggest sport in the world, Dana White needs to appeal to the older audience.  What better way to do that than by pandering to sportswriters.  The UFC hasn’t crossed into mainstream media like the NFL or MLB have.  It isn’t a day-to-day topic of conversation on Sportscenter.  Highly regarded sportswriters like Woody Paige, Bob Ryan and Rick Reilly probably don’t even know what MMA stands for, let alone have a roundtable discussion about who the best heavyweight fighter in the world is.  Clearly, the UFC still has many hills to climb, but some sports TV and radio staples like Jim Rome and Jay Glazer are already welcoming MMA as an equal among more traditional sports.  danawhite_boxing

Changes are happening everyday in regards to how we receive our news.  Local TV stations, radio outlets and newspapers are all seeing their profits dwindle as more and more people get their information from the net.  These days everyone seems to have a blog or website.  It’s an issue that will continue to be bounced around the blogs for years.  Dana White has to remember where his bread is buttered and everyone knows the internet is eventually going to be king.  So, by ignoring the internet audience now, he may be risking a serious backlash later.  But for now, it’s Dana’s world, and we’re all just going to have to live in it.