In a turn of events that undoubtedly infuriates Dana White, the mainstream press is again doing its part to ensure ratings success for EliteXC. Gina Carano and Kimbo Slice have been all over the place doing interviews; Gina was on the Late Late show a few nights ago, and Kimbo was on ESPN 2 today. Ken Shamrock was also interviewed today on the Jim Rome show, where he did a very good job hyping up his fight.
In the past two months, the UFC did two shows that were very successful on PPV, and had a lot of casual fan interest, but the media didn’t really bite. This is partially because Kimbo and Gina offer two really unique media narratives, but I think the real reason is the CBS rolodex. It is easy to underestimate the connections CBS brings to the table in terms of media. Not only can they get these fighters on their own shows, they can also work to get them other mainstream press in the L.A. area.
In the past, media coverage has not strongly correlated with buyrates for the UFC, but it definitely leads to ratings success. I think the reason is obvious: casual fans that hear about a fight on ESPN might check it out for free, but asking them to pay $50 for it is a whole different story.
Speaking of mainstream press, ESPN E60 did an update on their original story on her yesterday.
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