Thoughts On UFC 143 In 3D, Was It Worth It?

Can I get that $25 back? Yes, I paid the $25 it costs to watch UFC 143 in 3D at my local theater, one of only 2 theaters showing the event in 3D in all of Washington state. I’m not going to give my thoughts on the event here, this is mostly to give you all the low down on UFC’s first event in 3D, even though it was a pretty awesome card.

The first thing I noticed about the event was how we got screwed over instantly. The UFC was showing a new intro, one that is set to replace its gladiator intro, well, we missed that. In fact, we missed everything for the first 7 minutes of the card. Not a good start at all. When the feed finally came back on, guess what, the audio sync was off. It wasn’t really noticeable until the Joe Rogan interviews because you really don’t see the people talking until the interviews but it was there and it was annoying.

The next thing that was probably my biggest problem with the card in 3D, we got hosed! We didn’t get Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg calling the action for us, we got Jon Anik and Kenny Florian. Don’t get me wrong, Anik and Florian don’t suck, but they are no Rogan and Goldberg. There was stuttering, dead air (when there wasn’t suppose to be, you could tell they were trying to gather their thoughts), and it just sounded awkward.

Crappy camera angles suck. I think I counted around 3 true 3D cameras there, because of that, the UFC decided to try to use those as much as possible for our feed. These angles were not the ideal angles or views for us, those were saved for the main feed so we were constantly getting non-optimal views. What was worse though was when they would switch to the single lens cameras and give us what seemed to be a post-process 3D image, it was just awful. Not to mention every time that they showed anything in the UFC video library where nothing was actually shot in 3D and they tried to make it seem 3D. It just looked like crap.

Can we not forget that 2 friends seeing this in the theater at $25 a ticket is the cost of the PPV in the comfort of your own home with your own food and drinks that’s so much cheaper than what you are going to pay at a theater? And so much better quality too.

Overall, when the 3D was actually done right, it was awesome, it really was. It really made me feel like I was there (I’ve been to several UFC events live so I know what it’s like), but so often, it wasn’t done the right way. Every time the UFC would switch to one of the single camera lenses or show an older video clip, it would just suck you out of the experience and it really left you wanting your money back. This was the first time the UFC has done 3D and this was my first and last time paying for it. Never again for me.

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  • That’s really unfortunate that you had those syncing issues with the broadcast. Our theater in Redwood City, CA (only one of two theaters showing the PPV in the Bay Area) was crisp, clear, with no issues during the broadcast whatsoever. I enjoyed going, but you could tell that this was the first time ever for the company to put on a show like this on a scale this huge, so there were bound to be some missteps and hiccups. 

    I’d go again, but I do hope that if the UFC commits to the idea of pay-per-views in 3D in the future (as Jon Anik & Dana White hinted at), that they plan for it ahead. Work on bringing more 3D cameras to events, get better angles, etc.

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