The UFC is big business for Fox Sports. The MMA brand has achieved a nice partnership with the News Corp. family of networks and have spawned numerous successful, worthwhile ventures.
"Slow and Hot with Brittney Palmer" is not one of them.
In a brilliant, yet ridiculous move, Fox has contracted UFC Octagon girl Brittney Palmer to host a series of online videos called "Slow and Hot." The first one was decently tame. It was footage of skateboarders in Venice Beach doing tricks while the model walked around in slow motion and… looked like a model. The second one less tame. Palmer stars in a 2-minute video of her doing splatter painting in slow motion, set to dubstep, while wearing a swimsuit. The painting is filmed in slow-motion using one of Fox's new phantom cameras, which is a high-speed camera that has been successful with the UFC on Fox.
Fox Sports has already gotten over 15,000 people – myself included, unfortunately – to literally watch paint dry.
The coordinating meeting for these shoots must have been hilarious. First, random splatter painting where more paint ends up on the grass and the camera lens than on the canvas itself. Second, find a location that suits the tone of the shoot: Venice Beach. It combines the reeking carnival of vagrants and oddities found in Venice, with the beautiful sun and sand of Southern California. It's perfect.
If another major network did this, they would be thrashed on the internet within minutes. "Slow and Hot" was on the FoxSports.com front page throughout yesterday alongside other news stories of the day. Palmer isn't a newsgatherer, nor is she related to any portion of Fox's programming. If ESPN did something similar and put a slow-motion video of an NBA or an NFL cheerleader on their front page doing nothing sports-related they would be hammered for doing so.
The thinking behind this from Fox is obviously a gratuitous move for pageviews because they know that it will drive traffic to their site. You can even download desktop and mobile wallpapers. But it's worth asking whether or not another legitimate news-gathering organization could get away with this.