UFC to broadcast bi-weekly live fights on Fox Sports starting in August


Today Fox is formally announcing their plans for their new sports channels. The launch date for Fox Sports 1 is set for Saturday, August 17th of this year, and MMA fans have been wondering what that would mean for the UFC, who will have their FX and Fuel content shifted to the sports networks. Richard Deitsch, who is at the press conference in New York, reported that the UFC will broadcast 12 live cards on Wednesdays through the end of the year:

@richarddeitsch: Fox Sports One will air 12 UFC "Fight Nights" on Wednesdays from Aug 17 through end of year. Bouts will air from 8PM-11PM.

Not all the details have been sorted out or clarified yet. It should also be pointed out that August 17th (launch date) is a Saturday and not a Wednesday. The 12 fight night cards through the end of the calendar year would be roughly one event per two weeks on FS1.

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Juijitsuboxer site profile image  

3/7/13 9:44 PM by Juijitsuboxer


Juijitsuboxer site profile image  

3/6/13 12:55 PM by Juijitsuboxer

There are 52 Saturdays in a yearThere are 52 Wednesdays in yearUsing the assumptions of this deal, in 2014:Fox Sports 1 will have 18 UFC Prelim Events on Saturdays52 Saturdays-18 PPV Prelims= 34 Saturdays without UFC contentFox Sports 1 will have 12 UFC Fight Nights on Wednesdays52 Wednesdays-12 UFC Fight Nights=40 Wednesdays without UFC contentFox Sports 2 will have 12 UFC Fight Night Pre-lims on Wednesdays52 Wednesdays-12 UFC Fight Night Prelims=40 Wednesdays without UFC contentI am sure the number of Wednesday events will increase in 2014, how much do you think it will really increase?

MMALOGIC site profile image  

3/6/13 5:00 AM by MMALOGIC

  They are moving off FX.  fuel fight nights will be going to fs1 as well.  Fuel is becoming fs2 and will likely air the prelims for fs1 cards, and replays.   Most first run UFC content will be focused and aired on FS1...  on one channel. this will be the hub for the UFC.  SOmething they have been missing since they left spike. wednesday nights will be UFC nights.  they will air unleashed, ppv replays, and live fight nights.  Saturdays are ppv and fox prelims (18... 14ppv + 4 Fox). since fs1 will initially have 12 fight nights, that means fs2 (fuel) will have 12 fs1 prelims. i suspect tuf will move to big fox to funnel traffic to fs1... if not, then tuf will also likely air in that wednesday night timeslot.  . WIth a consistent wednesday night timeslot they'll finally be able to build an audience.  WWe raw has built an audience of 4 million a week because they have a consistent event every week, same time, and they bring those events to local markets accross the country to cultivate each territory. Unleashed and ppv replays will be aired inbetween the live fight nights, and I believe slowly the live fight nights will increase and replace the taped content to where you'll have a weekly fight series.  

MMALOGIC site profile image  

3/6/13 4:27 AM by MMALOGIC

^ it'll be fight night venues.  they are locking in venues as week speak on a yearly basis.  meaning they are creating a schedule to return year after year to cultivate each market.  If you take the USA, Canada and Brazil, you have more than enough markets to support 50 healthy fight nights a year. Brazil, Canada and US are close to the same time zone so it works out. Mexico and most of south america can also be included once that territory flourishes with UFC fans. this will also build their TV audience.  The UFC's biggest ratings comes from markets they most frequently air live events in (las vegas being one of them).  if you extrapolate this out.... you have a major sports television product. if the UFC visited southern florida once a year that market would flourish... and the ratings from that market would carry over to your other events on television. there are at least 50 markets that the UFC needs to visit once a year in just north america.  Some are ppv/fox markets and some are fs1 fight night markets.  

Res ispa loquitur site profile image  

3/6/13 4:12 AM by Res ispa loquitur

I wonder  if they moved to a weekly fight series, would the UTC go back to smaller venues? Dana and the brothers Fertita seem adverse to this as it makes the brand look small time.

MMALOGIC site profile image  

3/6/13 3:51 AM by MMALOGIC

it's obvious now that it's not every week... BUT You can bet your ass that Fox will eventually pony up for one in order to build their network.   This is just a dry run...  they'll probably air unleashed and ppv replays inbetween the live events to fill the wednesday night time slot... and they will slowly replace the taped programming with more and more live fights where eventually you have a weekly live fight series.   When the UFC rolls into town they usually pull up to double digit ratings in that city/state.  That's GOLD for a new network. Zuffa probably wants up to 200m more a year for a weekly fight series.  Roughly 4 million per fight night.  That's about how much HBO pays per event. Since they did not announce tuf... Dont be surprised if they place it on big Fox for a few seasons to drive and funnel more traffic to the UFC/fs1 network. Fox needs to make the UFC a huge sports property in order for fs1 to really take off.  All the major sports properties are locked up.  Fox wont be able to do it with just MLB, Nascar, college football/basketball... they need another major sports property and the only way to do that is to turn the UFC into one.

Chiron site profile image  

3/5/13 7:59 PM by Chiron

This is good news in my view. If the shows get good ratings it should mean more money in the UFC which should mean more good fighters in the org and more people gravitating into the sport over time.

AceAtGSU site profile image  

3/5/13 7:28 PM by AceAtGSU

Have you not been fully following the sport the last year or two? We have seen cards absolutely decimated by injuries, champions only fighting 1-2 times a year. Just because we want to see certain guys more does not mean we are going to. When you are cutting guys and adding more fights the difference is not going to be made up by the big names you want to see, it is going to be made up by guys who make up the prelims because there are more of them. Now we get great fights from the prelims, don't get me wrong, but we also get some poor fights as well. I am just saying that if you are going to add more cards, it would be better for match making if you have more fighters to choose from not less. The injury problem won't go away, so that will still play a factor as well.

sevr1 site profile image  

3/5/13 7:06 PM by sevr1

Really?!It would actually make it a better product. It means the guys that aren't cutting it/no one wants to see, get their places taken by guys who are doing good and guys we want to see.Imagine all the guys you want to see actually fighting 3-5 times a year. That sounds awesome to me.

Lobo8 site profile image  

3/5/13 6:27 PM by Lobo8

Hmm guess if they ever roll out the small circuit shows in the future they could end up of fox sports 2 or online streams.