Hi, HDNet. We have to talk. You know I love what you’re doing with MMA, covering a lot of this Japanese stuff and all. But there’s a small problem: Your DREAM.6 show sucked. It’s for a variety of reasons, some out of your control but many within your ability to fix. First off, it was revealed during the broadcast that the Japanese intro videos (a huge part of why people loved watching PRIDE events) weren’t available to HDNet for one reason or another. Instead we get the rafter cam, which is basically a long shot of the arena crowd. There were times where this single static shot was shown for several minutes at a time with little to no talking.
Once in a while, HDNet would ‘treat’ us to their own fighter intros, which were about the most tame things I’ve ever seen. Everything from the clips selected to the arrangement to the music was completely uninspired. Much of the footage was obviously filler – one video was made up mostly of the fighter walking down to the ring from his last fight. What a great highlight. NOT! They just reeked of “I don’t give a shit” … I dunno if the person responsible just didn’t care or wasn’t given more than a day to put all of those things together. All I know is that 99% of the guys putting together highlights on Youtube could have done a better job with the same amount of time and footage.
Not only did HDNet not have the feed for the DREAM videos, but they also didn’t have the audio feed for fighter entrances. This resulted in us hearing canned, echoey music from the arena’s sound system. I dunno how the UFC does it, but they manage to make things not sound like garbage.
And let’s talk about the translator, who futzed up pretty much every single translation he had to do. My favorite fuckup was when Akiyama called out someone and the translator basically said “Akiyama would like his next fight to be against … I don’t know, I missed it.” Oops.
Last but not least: I know Bas is Bas and that’s okay, but just like Mauro Ranallo, he needs someone to keep him on a leash or he does retarded shit like singing through the entire Fedor entrance song. He started off pretty sharp but you could tell he was running on Red Bull fumes by the end of the event and not making very much sense. I got the impression that “End of DREAM Bas” was pretty similar to “Post-Concussion Syndrome Bas”. Lots of sound effects and giggles. I don’t know what’s to be done about this since I’m painfully aware of how brutal switching over to Japan time is, but he really wasn’t fit for TV by the end. Kenny Rice is Kenny Rice, I’m not that big of a fan but he did his job as the flappy head of obvious remarks throughout the entire event.
Anyways, I don’t know if there’s much that can be done to make a 6 hour event packed with 4 hours of dead air and middling fights interesting, but certainly you can aim for ‘slightly dragging’ rather than ‘pulling teeth terrible’, can’t you?