On Friday morning, I wrote that the previous night's Bellator 19 show on Fox Sports Net was MMA broadcasting at its best
. Twelve hours later, I watched the Moosin broadcast on pay-per-view.
Suffice to say, I was slightly less impressed.
Before I go any further, let me just say that the Moosin fights themselves were actually pretty good. Roxanne Modafferi's split decision win over Tara LaRosa was every bit as good a fight as I hoped it would be. Mike Campbell's unanimous decision win over Yves Edwards was exciting. Lukasz Jurkowski had an impressive TKO win over Ho Jin Kim that thrilled the large Polish contingent in the Worcester, Mass. crowd. Even the main event, Tim Sylvia beating Mariusz Pudzianowski, was entertaining in a freak show kind of way.
But the broadcast -- everything from camera work to production quality to graphics to announcing to fighter interviews -- failed to live up to the standard set by the fighters inside the cage.
Take that great Modafferi-LaRosa fight. In the second round, Modafferi was on her back, trying to submit LaRosa with a triangle choke. A well-done MMA broadcast would have given viewers a camera angle that allowed us to see how deep the choke was, and how close LaRosa was to being submitted. Instead we got ... a view of LaRosa's back. And that was it. Whoever was in the production truck presumably didn't know enough about MMA to know what viewers need to see when a triangle choke is being attempted.
There were all sorts of stupid little things on the Moosin show. A pointless backstage interview with the ring card girls. A pre-fight interview being shown after
the first round of the fight. An interview with Bas Rutten as he exited the men's room. Inaccurate statements from the announcers about fighters' backgrounds.
The on-screen graphics listed fighters with incorrect heights and weights, and the graphics generally looked awfully shoddy, but maybe that was just because the show wasn't offered in high-definition. It's 2010, folks. If fans care enough about your product to buy it on pay-per-view, they want to see it in HD.
UPDATE: Several readers have contacted me to say Moosin was
available in HD. When I ordered the pay-per-view DirecTV told me it wasn't available in HD, but apparently that was a DirecTV problem, not a Moosin problem.
Between my complaints about the TV broadcast and my criticism of Tim Sylvia's inability to get in shape
, it probably sounds like I have something against Moosin. Well, the truth is, I don't. I actually have a lot of admiration for the card they put together, especially the Modafferi-LaRosa fight. But if you want to succeed on pay-per-view, you have to make the fans at home feel like they got their money's worth. That's hard to do when every element of the TV broadcast comes across like it was done on the cheap.