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Too much of a good thing?

Zach Arnold links to a Wrestling Observer report that, despite Ken vs. Tito III doing a fantastic 3.1 rating, the following episode of TUF 4 did a 1.0 (its lowest rating ever).

My take on the ppor TUF 4 ratings is that people are burned out on the reality show format, the back-to-back seasons with virtually no break between seasons and a relatively drama free season 4.

The UFC did a good job whipping up a newby-fan frenzy with its pro-wrestling style hype surrounding the Tito vs. Shamrock saga. But, I think we are seeing the UFC at its peak. It is reaching a saturation point with its television shows and monthlly pay-per-views, and it is bound to see its ratings and PPV buys level off to a more sustainable level. What that level will be is the $100 million question.

BTW, speaking of burning out on monthly pay-per-views, I think PPV burnout is actually part of the UFC’s plan. I am tired of paying $40 a month for shows, so I actually skipped watching this UFC live and caught it on a borrowed tape today. If hardcore fans like myself burn out on paying $40 a month for UFC PPV shows, you know that new fans are going to have very little interest in buying another promotion’s PPV that features fighters they never heard of (even if the fighters are better than the fighters in the UFC).

The UFC’s logic (if this is its logic) is so clever that it’s almost Rovian – the UFC may damage the numbers for its individual PPVs by running so many shows, but it also runs so many shows that there is no room for a competitor to come up and successfully challenge it. (It also does not hurt that the UFC probably makes more money running 12 smaller PPV shows than 4-6 bigger ones.)

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