Sunday, January 23, 2022

Interesting Points About MMA Broadcast Teams

Josh Gross makes them at SI.com:

Veteran MMA broadcaster Stephen Quadros has covered fights all over the world under many conditions. During his time as the play-by-play man for the Pride Fighting Championship, Quadros was employed by the promoter, an example of what he called the “pro wrestling” broadcast model where production and control over what fans see at home is dictated by the same people promoting the event. This, sadly, is a far cry from what sports fans in the U.S. have come to rightly expect from broadcasters and commentators, though it's still predominantly what they get when the tune in to MMA.

In his most recent gig calling MMA on Showtime, Quadros served a far more traditional role as a journalist calling the fights. And while MMA broadcasts are beginning to trend this way, particularly thanks to the work done by Kenny Rice on HDNet and producers like David Dinkins Jr. at Showtime, there are still far too many events that have degraded to the point where the ugly results of vicious knockouts or other newsworthy events can be edited out, or completely ignored in favor of cheerleading commentators assigned to call the action.

Following the controversy surrounding Georges St. Pierre and B.J. Penn, I didn't wonder why the UFC broadcast team failed to mention the commotion in St. Pierre's corner with Nevada State Athletic Commission inspectors. I wasn't surprised when a post-fight interview with Penn was forsaken for a chance to hype up the UFC welterweight champ's next defense against Thiago Silva. This was simply status quo. Had there been a hand-wrap issue, as there was when HBO produced a fight recently between Antonio Margarito and Shane Mosely, I'm not so sure viewers would be informed.

Veteran broadcaster Todd Harris calls the WEC action for Versus. He's falling into the same trap that makes whatever UFC play-by-play man Mike Goldberg says irrelevant, and taints what his color man, Joe Rogan, brings as well. Harris asked Page three questions following the fight. None had to do with the fact that Galvao was struggling to regain consciousness. The closest he came was a query wondering when Page thought he had Galvao in trouble — an odd question considering the fight was considerably shorter than the time it takes to microwave a slice of pizza.

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