A rising tide lifts all boats…
John F. Kennedy popularized the maxim way back in 1963. He was explaining that the improvement of the general economy will improve individual economy. In other words, the more money made overall will bring more money into your household, what is best for America is what is going to be best for your family.
It also goes to reason, what is best for boxing is best for HBO Sports. What is best for MMA is best for the UFC. Why can’t they get that? Knowing how fond both organizations are of acronyms maybe this will help. SCP. Stop Counter Programming! It could be called short-term thinking, but there can’t be that much thinking going on. It’s two 800 pound gorillas being spiteful. There’s a case of bananas and every time another gorilla goes to grab one, the giant comes over and wants half. Why? To try to slowing kill that gorilla? Why?
The more healthy gorillas, the more popular gorillas will be. The more popular the gorilla is, the more attention it attracts. The more attention, the bigger the audience! It’s better for everyone.
On Saturday, January 30th, Strikeforce put on a show featuring some of its best and most intriguing fighters. A nice night for fight fans. By now it is expected and accepted that the UFC is going to stick its cauliflowered ear and pug nose into every other promotion’s night and steal some market share with a free replay of their latest pay-per-view.
A message to UFC’s Andre Agassi look-a-like, lower the tide enough and your ship looks a lot bigger for a while, but ultimately it won’t be able to move any further forward.
The message the UFC sends back is simply, this is bigger than you. You don’t count. It’s not about what is best for you. It is about what is best for the short-term dominance of this company. Anyone who gets in our way is just a casualty, even the fans. Sure, we could give you a whole other weekend to look forward to, simply by showing the replay another night. But we won’t.
Showtime is putting on a dynamic showcase called the Super Six World Boxing Tournament. There are six boxers. It is super. And the fighters are from all over the world. How’s that for truth in advertising? For the fighters that perform well, the benefits are going to be enormous. The fans are already benefiting enormously. Instead of HBO trying raise their game to match the excitement and put together something as intriguing, they’ll go with the same old, same old and counter program. Trying to take half the banana.
On Saturday March 6th Arthur Abraham (31-0) will take on Andre Dirrell (18-1) in the second round of the Super Six. If Abraham was an American, he’d be as big of a star as there is in boxing. Dirrell is as slick as they come; only his unwillingness to stay in the pocket can keep him out of the super middleweight top 5 for the next bunch of years. Why not hope Abraham’s legend and record and violent finishes continue to run like a HBO dramatic series. Then everyone, HBO included, could benefit from a giant pay-per-view between Abraham and say…Bernard Hopkins in 2011?
That might take too much effort or original thinking, so just counter program with some fights that boxing fans would also love to see… on any other night except March 6th (not going to mention the card). Do it the week before or the week after and fans win. Boxing wins. Therefore, I know the readers can figure it out, not sure about HBO, so I’ll spell it out…HBO ultimately wins also.
Instead HBO will try to diminish Abraham’s audience, therefore weakening the economic viability of a pay-per-view that HBO could be a part of down the road.
UFC’s Agassi-look-a-like always says he gets the things right that boxing gets wrong. That is why the UFC is so popular. But in this case it seems like HBO and the UFC are both two big dumb, short-sighted 800 pound gorillas getting fat and lazy half a banana at a time.