I’ve quietly and with some difficulty accepted that Fightlinker will never really be mentioned as having played any role in Spike’s decision to make Ultimate Fight Night 13 into a 3 hour event. I accept this mostly because although we helped spearhead the email blitzkrieg, credit really should be going to all of the fans of the sport who took the time and the interest and flooded Spike’s inbox resulting in what should undoubtedly be an awesome show. I’m also psyched about an event I can only describe as categorically wicked.
In a way it makes sense for them not to give us props. It would be like thanking your high school bully for liberating you of all that heavy change in your pocket. They aren’t about to give two Jackal shit talkers any more attention than they deserve. Fine. I accept that. But the fact that Spike claims that it was their intent all along, rather than a result of powerful lobbying by MMA enthusiasts, is a missed opportunity on their part. So, here are the three reasons why it’s a good idea for Spike to credit fans for the change:
Reason #1: It’ll make the Gravy Train Last Longer
I mean think about it for a second; does Spike really think that as Mixed Martial Arts gets bigger, they’ll keep their privileged deal with the UFC? They’re riding the gravy train, but it’s not a ticket that lasts forever. At some point, Zuffa’s going to be attractive enough for a major network to agree to their seemingly ridiculous demands. In the meantime, by showing just what level of accessibility and fan service MMA lovers have on Spike, there’s good reason to think that people will want the partnership to continue as long as it can.
Reason #2: It makes for a good Story
The last time Spike was in the news, they were being sued by Spike Lee over name trademark issues. It actually worked wonders for them, since they were a shitty channel back then, watched only by rednecks and Star Trek enthusiasts. The lawsuit helped showed Spike had balls, and that’s exactly what their demographic wants; hot manly balls. No doubt had Spike made a press release crediting the fans for the change, other news sources would have picked up the story, and made free advertising for them, and for the event.
Reason #3: It Makes us Want to Keep Asking for Good Fights
Spike knows that with only 4 shows a year, they need to make everyone of them count. That means that if they can continue to get the UFC to build quality Fight Night cards for them, they can keep making their shows 3 hours long. Despite the fact that we often wonder whether or not the UFC every really cares what us the fans think, they know that fan interest is paramount to their growth. Spike inviting more fan participation means that they share the influence and pressure from enthusiasts, allowing them to ave a greater voice and stake in this business.
Whether or not you agree with this assessment or not, just consider for a second that there really was no logical reason for them to deny fan involvement in making UFN 13 longer. The only reason I can figure is that they wanted people to think their execs are cool or something. Personally, I think TV execs are a bunch of snakes, but then again, that’s because they refused my idea for a show called “Survivor: Antarctica”. Tell me that’s not something you’d watch, i dare ya!