|kickass32 ||10-19-2010 01:08 PM |
Spike Says Prime Time Is the Best Time to Air UFC
Spike Says Prime Time Is the Best Time to Air UFC -- MMA Fighting
Spike Says Prime Time Is the Best Time to Air UFC
10/19/2010 3:49 PM ET By Michael David Smith
Michael David Smith
There was quite a bit of hand-wringing among MMA fans this weekend over Spike TV showing UFC 120 on tape delay from London, leading to some fans finding out the results of the fights before they aired in the United States. But Spike TV says that the hand-wringing has been limited to a relatively small number of fans, and that the majority of viewers prefer to watch the fights in prime time.
"We actually don't get many viewer calls," said David Schwarz, VP Communications at Spike. "I've never received any and I know it's very minimal. ... Our research says Saturday night is fight night -- guys are home, they get together with their friends and it's a natural time to watch the fight."
Schwarz says that although UFC 120 ratings were lower than the last European card, UFC 105 in November 2009, Spike continues to be pleased with the ratings for its UFC cards in Europe, and that the network believes it will get more viewers in the evening than the afternoon.
"We air when most of the viewers are there, which is prime time," Schwarz said.
In 2010, it's harder than ever to avoid "spoilers," and many hard-core MMA fans find it difficult to avoid finding out the results online. But Schwarz says the hard-core MMA fans who are reading MMA web sites on a Saturday afternoon are a minority of the audience.
"We love the dedicated fans," Schwarz said. "We keep giving them more great stuff, from the Pride library, with Countdowns and Primetimes, we understand that they like the immediacy of it. But for the majority, this works."
And although many fans said they were disappointed to learn UFC 120 results from the ESPN crawl while watching college football on Saturday afternoon, Schwarz said he doesn't see that as a problem.
"If I find out Carlos Condit knocked out Dan Hardy, I want to see that," Schwarz said. "Sometimes if I see that on the ticker it makes me think -- I've got to check that out."
Schwarz said he expects Spike to air UFC 122 on tape delay from Germany on November 13.
"Currently, that's the plan," Schwarz said. "That's not to say we wouldn't ever do it in the afternoon."
Although viewers in much of the rest of the world were able to watch UFC 120 on live television, Schwarz said it's hard to make that work logistically for Spike. The tape delay allows Spike to make changes such as inserting commercial breaks that weren't part of the live international broadcast, and air better fights, such as replacing Claude Patrick's rather dull unanimous decision win over James Wilks with Alexander Gustafsson's more exciting submission win over Cyrille Diabate.
Ultimately, viewers vote with their remote controls, and Spike says the viewers are voting for the UFC in the evening.
"The ratings are pretty solid," Schwarz said. "Prime time suits the audience because they're home and watching TV."
|beau420 ||10-19-2010 02:43 PM |
LOL...and no one is home Saturday afternoon compared to Saturday evening?
It could suck if you lived on the west coast....fights on TV would start at 11AM or 12PM. But still. I guess it competes with College Football, but still.
No one wants to watch a UFC event 6-8 hours after it happens if they have the option to watch it live.
In Canada, I watched the event in HD at 3PM EST....we don't get an HD Spike channel up here, so my option was to wait 6 hours and watch in shitty standard def (crap SD compared to other SD channels too) or watch live in HD.
What was even better is there were less commercials than Spike's normal broadcast because it wasn't all edited to shit. It looked like a live event where commercials were inserted in. Like, between rounds they would only have 30-45 sec commercials, not like a minute and 33 seconds of commercials then come back. There was much better flow.
I think the main reason the UFC did it was sponsor and commercial money. It is usually cheaper to advertise at 3PM than at 9PM. It might be hard for the UFC to convince their sponsors to fill expensive commercial time slots at 3PM in the afternoon.
If I have the option to watch an event live, I will, I will not wait to watch it 6 hours after the fact.
If UFC 122 is on a 6 hour tape delay and isn't on TV in North America, I will download the event from the UK and watch it an hour or 2 later...I will not pay for a PPV if it's a tape delay and I don't like watching events on Spike because of the shit way they break up the fights and the length of commercials.
|dexter ||10-19-2010 03:49 PM |
In the UK UFC events held in the US are on live at 03:00 in the morning.
|Tyreas ||10-19-2010 04:07 PM |
European fall events live would lose to college football. I would have been watching the Michigan v. Iowa game rather than the UFC card. That's not to say I wouldn't be flippin channels back and forth if it was on though.
Let the fans complain...it was free TV!
|Pasha K ||10-19-2010 09:17 PM |
Also I really think that it is not that hard to avoid spoilers.
If you know that a website can give spoilers, then why are you going to visit it?
If you know that ESPN can give spoilers, then maybe you should try to not watch that channel for some hours.
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