When Invicta claims success, skepticism soon follows


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

michelle-waterson-3.jpgLet’s start with what we know for sure: Invicta FC’s second attempt at an online pay-per-view was far more successful than the first.

That’s not such a high bar to clear, considering that the first one led to apologies and refunds and a pay wall that got yanked down well before the main event, but it’s a start. According to Ustream sales engineer Chris Brey, Invicta FC 5 “sold the most [pay-per-view] tickets for any single event PPV in Ustream history, and there was a 65 percent increase in sales from their last event with us.”

Invicta CEO Shannon Knapp said she’d also been told by Ustream that Invicta FC 5 was a record-breaker, but added that she wouldn’t release actual figures because she’d “learned [her] lessons” about how quickly online skepticism can overshadow the work of her fighters in the aftermath of an event.

She seems to have a point there. Ustream’s claim is bound to generate some internet suspicion all on its own. With or without actual numbers, some members of the MMA community simply refuse to believe that there’s a sizable fan base for the all-female angle offered by Invicta, even if they are themselves members of that fan base.

That’s the weird part, when you think about it. If you like something, why is it so unbelievable that other people like it too? And even if you didn’t care enough to pay 10 bucks for the live stream, at what point does it become easier to believe in these third-party declarations of Invicta’s popularity than to continue insisting that it’s all a big conspiracy designed to prop up women’s MMA?

According to Ustream, the previous top-selling online pay-per-view was Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit concert, which sold for a $5 “donation” via Ustream. After that, according to Ustream, the pay-per-view rankings include a World Cup qualifier between Guatemala and the U.S. that sold for $29.95 in June, followed by the K-1 Grand Prix in Los Angeles this past September. Web broadcasts of UFC 148 and the Algarve Cup soccer game between the U.S. and German women’s national teams round out the bottom of Ustream’s top-seller list. Up at the top, there’s Invicta. So Ustream says, anyway.

Are we to assume Ustream is lying? Why? Because we just can’t possibly believe that so many people wanted to pay to see women’s MMA? It’s worth noting that almost all those other top-sellers, from the UFC to the World Cup qualifier, were available across multiple pay-per-view platforms. Invicta was only available on Ustream, and for the relatively modest price of $9.95. If we don’t think it’s possible that fight fans turned out in force for that, then what are we really saying about women’s MMA, or even MMA in general?

The longer Invicta is around, the more it seems like it suffers from a certain well-mean condescension. It’s sort of the kid sister of the MMA world. Many fight fans like it, are glad it exists and want to see it survive, but can’t quite get themselves to believe that it’s a real player. Even when they’re buying the pay-per-views, they tell themselves that almost no one else is. It’s almost as if they want it to be that way, because then their purchase is a willful act of support, caught somewhere between charity and consumption. Then, when Invicta or Ustream comes out later and claims that there were a whole bunch of those people, out come the conspiracy theories.

A generous interpretation might lead us to the conclusion that is the MMA community’s way of trying to figure out how seriously to take Invicta. So far it’s benefited from the built-in street cred of the startup. Supporting it almost seems like a counter-culture statement. Toss the ladies 10 bucks and fight the power. Or whatever. That’s why it’s odd that these post-event declarations of success are met with such skepticism.

It might be tough to get a real fix on how many people are willing to pay for the privilege of watching an Invicta event on a Friday night when it’s sandwiched between Bellator and UFC shows, but I don’t find it impossible to believe that there’s a sizable population of women’s MMA fans out there. And, as a Ustream employee pointed out before this event, that’s a “niche within a niche.” If you’re aware enough to know what Invicta is, there’s probably a good chance that you’re also into it enough to pay.

Whether that’s enough to sustain Invicta is another question. You have to sell a lot of $10 pay-per-views just to pay the salaries and travel expenses of all those fighters. As Knapp explained in a text message earlier today, “We could keep doing this and sustain our business, but we are hoping to move to TV with a broadcast partner that believes in the product.”

And that still seems to be the toughest part – getting people to believe. Getting them to pay, that has to be a close second.

For more on Invicta FC 5, stay tuned to the MMA Events section of the site.

(Pictured: Michelle Waterson)

view original article >>

Related News

  • 26 days ago
  • 109 views

The UFC has added a female bout to the Fight Night card in Maine. Last seen in the Octagon in a title fight against bantamweight superstar Ronda Rousey in February, Sara McMann returns to action against UFC newcomer Lauren Murphy on Aug. 16, the promotion announced Thursday. McMann (7-1) looks to bounce back in the win column for the first time in her career after suffering a 66-second loss to Rousey at UFC 170. With a 1-1 record under the UFC banner, the Olympic silver medalist in wrestling hol more

  • 19 days ago
  • 54 views

Fans can also turn back the clock and check out the first seven Invicta FC events as part of their Fight Pass subscription. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is bringing Invicta Fighting Championship (Invicta FC), the industry's only all-female mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, to the Fight Pass digital network with its first live event on Sept. 6, 2014, inside Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri. The full fight card will include a pair of title fights, but no Cris Cyborg (yet), w more

  • 19 days ago
  • 45 views

It was already announced that the UFC had added the all-women’s promotion Invicta FC to its Fight Pass offerings, but the two promotions took it a step further on Thursday, announcing the first Invicta FC live broadcast on the digital network. more

  • 19 days ago
  • 43 views

After nine months off, Invicta Fighting Championships will return in September with its debut on the UFC’s Fight Pass digital network.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC more

  • 19 days ago
  • 28 views

Invicta FC's debut event on UFC Fight Pass, Invicta FC 8, is set to take place on September 6, 2014 in Kansas City, promotion president Shannon Knapp announced on a Thursday conference call. The show will be the all-female organization's first in nine months, and is expected to be headlined by duel title bouts, with Stephanie Eggink (4-1) and Katja Kankaanpaa (9-1-1) vying for the vacant Invicta FC strawweight title in the night's co-main event, and atomweight champion Michelle Waterson (11-3) a more

  • 19 days ago
  • 34 views

The working relationship between Ultimate Fighting Championship and Invicta FC continues to blossom with the announcement that the all-women’s mixed martial arts promotion will air exclusively on UFC Fight Pass going forward. more

  • 19 days ago
  • 27 views

Women's MMA fans were rightly overjoyed when it was announced that Invicta FC became part of the UFC family with their addition to UFC Fight Pass. Today, a special conference call was held to discuss the next step in that relationship, as well as Invicta's future. Most importantly for MMA fans, Invicta FC 8 was announced. The card will be held September 6, and will air exclusively in the United States on UFC Fight Pass. The event will be headlined by an atomweight title fight between reigning ch more

  • 19 days ago
  • 29 views

Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino gets closer to the UFC every day, it seems. Earlier today, the UFC announced during a conference call that its online subscription service, UFC Fight Pass, would host Invicta FC 8 on September 6. Following that announcement, Invicta FC president Shannon Knapp opened the floor to the media for questions, and Cyborg's name popped up immediately. Will she still fight for Invicta? At what weight class? Members of the media had questions, and Knapp had answers. "We're in co more

  • 19 days ago
  • 36 views

Hear what Marshall Zelaznik, Shannon Knapp and Invicta FC champion Michelle Waterson had to say Thursday afternoon about Invicta FC 8 coming to UFC Fight Pass on Sept. 6. You can hear the entire conference call above. more