It wasn’t nearly as bad as the TBS/Steve Harvey Show gaffe for Game 6 of the MLB playoffs. Still, Spike TV plugged tonight’s UFC 89 as “live” from Birmingham, England. There’s only one problem…it wasn’t.
In fact, those of us on the West Coast had to wait an additional 3 hours before getting our fight fix. It’s hard enough trying not to get spoiled for a fight in England, it’s harder still when one half of the country gets the feed 3 hours before you do.
There’s a couple things that I take issue with. First, what’s the value added by misrepresenting the viewing audience? Is Spike TV really worried about casual fans checking out internet results and skipping the show? Does adding the “live” clause in TV ads really prevent people from doing that anyway? I really don’t understand the intent, and feel a little upset that Spike insults my intelligence.
Second, and more pressing…why isn’t the show being shown live in the first place? I know reruns of shows like Manswers and Pros vs. Joes draw big numbers, but I think the network can put those on hold once every few months. On the West Coast, guess what we had airing from 6 PM up ’til the “live” card? OLD UFC CONTENT. I understand Spike wants the show on in prime time, but why not just air it back-to-back? Or live at 3 PM local time and then again at 9 in prime time?
Even if you escape the looming spectre of spoildom (and unfortunately, I did not, though I was spoiled in a very subtle way in a MLB playoff thread on a poker message board), any hardcore sports fan will vouch for a very different feeling while watching an event on tape delay. MMA has cemented itself as a legitimate sport AND, in the opinion of this writer, is the biggest cash cow for Spike. So, Spike, just give me my fights live and don’t try and sell it to me otherwise.
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