SBD/March 18, 2011/People and Pop Culture

This Week's Newsmakers: UFC Consolidates MMA Landscape With Strikeforce Purchase

UFC should dominate MMA space with acquisition of Strikeforce
THE DAILY each Friday offers our take on the performances over the past week of people and entities in sports business. Here are this week's newsmakers:

WIN: UFC -- The Zuffa-owned outfit consolidates the MMA market in a big way with the purchase of rival promotion Strikeforce. The buyout gives UFC dominance in MMA and should help keep fighters' salaries from escalating quickly. While the two organizations will remain separate for now, in time the new "super company" will be able to gain more TV exposure (domestic and abroad) without killing PPV business.

LOSE: NCAA MEN'S FIRST FOUR -- The NCAA's first time having four "First Round" games on the Tuesday and Wednesday night before the main tournament starts is described as a "buzzkill," "boring," "forgettable" and "irrelevant." The telecasts on truTV draw marginal ratings and the new format just seems to confuse writers, teams and fans as to what round the tournament is playing now. Opening reviews show the NCAA may want to rethink the approach or let it set in and allow fans to get used to it.

DRAW: "FAB FIVE" -- The ESPN film on the Univ. of Michigan's basketball recruiting class from '91 marks the net's highest-rated and most-viewed documentary ever and gets great reviews from critics. But the doc does little to better the images of CHRIS WEBBER, who did not participate in the film, and JALEN ROSE, who served as a producer on the film and made some provocative remarks about Duke and its players. Rose gets an emotional rebuke from GRANT HILL in the N.Y. Times over the comments, which Rose later says were only his thoughts as a 17-year-old.
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