As we move into the final month of 2012, I am putting forth series of blogs that take a look at the things in the MMA world that I’m looking most forward to in 2013. Today’s installment features two of my favorite things in all of the world: high definition television and Bellator ring girl (and Ring Girl Twit Pic! favorite) Jade Bryce.
More to the point, I am referring to the fact that Bellator is debuting on Spike TV on January 10 of the new year. In addition to allowing me to watch the shows in high definition, as opposed to standard-definition only MTV2, the switch in networks all but guarantees the promotion increased exposure heading into the new year.
For starters, not everyone I know gets MTV2, and most who do don’t seem to realize it. At the same time, people unfamiliar with the Bellator schedule have not been likely to randomly come across an event, as the odds of someone looking for sports programming on a Friday night checking MTV 2 are about the same as the odds of me getting the aforementioned Ms. Bryce to acknowledge my existence: virtually zero.
On the other hand, for better or worse, many people still associate Spike TV with the UFC and MMA. And with Bellator apparently moving its broadcasts to Thursday nights, there is an increased chance that channel surfers will find themselves watching Bellator after either scanning for something to tune into or being too lazy to change the channel after watching Hulk Hogan parade around the ring in the TNA Wrestling lead-in.
Any way you look at it, Bellator getting the increased exposure on Spike TV is good for MMA as a whole. Without question, more free agent fighters should become more willing to enter into a Bellator tournament knowing that more people are going to be watching. This has already become apparent with recent Bellator signings like King Mo and Paul Daley, among others.
Also, the increased competition (no matter how slight it might initially be) is bound to lead Dana White to step up his game with the UFC to make sure that Bellator does not become a true competitor for the casual MMA fans’ dollars. As we saw when other promotions such as Affliction and Strikeforce gained popularity and attention, the UFC becomes more aggressive and takes greater pains to book the fights people actually want to see when it feels challenged. So, even if indirectly, Bellator being on Spike TV in 2013 will lead to better fights and production across the entire MMA universe.
And finally, and most importantly, Jade Bryce will be in high definition on a weekly basis. It will practically be like I am in the same arena with her. That isn’t creepy at all, right?