FUEL to become Fox Sports 2, FX dropping sports
The UFC currently airs on FUEL around the clock, on FX regularly, on the FOX network four times per year, plus PPV, and countless international outlets. There are some big changes coming.
Sports Media Watch broke the news, via the subscription Sports Business Journal.
News Corporation will convert the Fuel cable network into general sports channel ‘Fox Sports 2′ this August. The launch of Fox Sports 2 will coincide with the conversion of Speed Channel to Fox Sports 1.
Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 will be the chief outlets for News Corp. sports programming. FX, which aired college football coverage the past two seasons and previously televised baseball and NASCAR, will no longer carry sporting events.
Fox Soccer is expected to be converted into a general entertainment channel.
Currently, Fuel is in 37.6 million television homes — over 43 million fewer than Speed Channel (81.0M). Fox Soccer (42.3M) is actually in more homes than Fuel.
What this means for the UFC is not clear.
Will The Ultimate Fighter be treated as sports entertainment or as reality series? If the former, then it would leave its home on FX, but this seems unlikely.
UFC on FX events will presumably move to FOX Sports 1 (formerly The Speed Channel) and FUEL events will surely remain on the newly branded FOX Sports 2.
It is unknown at this point if the conversion of FUEL to an all sport channel will mean more UFC, less, or the same.