32 live events starting in November, new TUF format with live fights, and more from the UFC/FOX presser

When a major network schedules a press conference, they’re either announcing the return of a popular show due to DVD sales or celebrating the acquiring of new programming. MMA fans are hoping for the latter.

Fox Broadcasting Company held a press conference today in Los Angeles in cooridnation with the UFC with FOX Sports Media Group Chairman and CEO David Hill, Co-Presidents and COO’s Randy Freer and Eric Shanks, and FX President John Landgraf in attendance along with UFC President Dana White and UFC executive and part owner Lorenzo Fertitta, plus UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans.

Earlier this week, Sports Business Daily reported that Fox and UFC struck a deal that would bring UFC to network television for the first time in company history. Today’s press conference could be the official announcement of the deal, complete with details.

FiveOuncesOfPain.com was tuned in and has the following nuggets of information to report back with:

– The UFC will broadcast four events a year on FOX, six on FX, and 24 live TUF fights coinciding with episodes
– TUF will be shown *live* on FX
– Dana White: “This is it for me. This is what I always wanted.”
– The first UFC event on FOX will take place on November 12
– In regards to TUF, each episode will be filmed over the preceding week and edited into an episode that shows on Friday night before the bout is shown live
– Also new with TUF, viewers will have an opportunity to vote on creating the match-ups
– White: “I don’t know if I ever thought it would but it did and that’s all that matters.” (on the UFC signing with FOX)
– November 12 event on FOX will take place in Anaheim
– The agreement between the UFC and FOX is seven years long
– Live prelims and “Unleashed” episodes will be shown on Fuel
– UFC action will be broadcasted on Fox Desportes too
– FOX running pre/post-shows while the UFC will still handle event production
– “Fight Night” events will be on FX, “big fights will be on big FOX”
– Lorenzo Fertitta says it wasn’t just FOX interested: “We basically had every major broadcaster vying for these rights.”
– White says there will be lots of changes coming including to PPVs: “We want to take everything to the next level.”
– Fertitta says FOX was the network they’d hoped to eventually sign with a decade ago when they first got started with the UFC: “It was pretty simple from our standpoint to see what the right home for us was.”
– Network broadcasts may include title-fights
– The November 12 date was a coincidence, not directed at counter-programming Manny Pacquiao’s upcoming fight on the same date
– Opening video will change meaning no more gladiator
– There will be cross-promotion between the UFC and FOX’s creative programming

19 COMMENTS
  • JBAR says:

    Those dang guys at Zuffa, who do they think they are. Getting MMA on a nationwide free television network, ruining the sport I tell ya, just ruining it…….. :)

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  • hindsightufuk says:

    what is Fuel? and what does this mean for the UK and other countries?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • Rece Rock says:

    this all sounds fucking awesome

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  • YetiLee says:

    Well this sucks for us Canadians, we don’t get any of those channels here except for Fox. Guess I will just need to go the torrent route to get TUF and any fight night cards.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • G-DUB says:

    No more gladiator opening complemented by cringe-worthy musical opening! Sweet! …. and only about 7 years too late.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  • Guthookd says:

    Sweet. Now if they would just bag the fucking PPVs altogether I could cut Dish out of my life and go with the standard TV. Fuck Pay Per Views I say…fuck them. Just advertise like hell and make it all free on Network TV!! Oah shit…wait….that god damn 2 year contract.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • Niv says:

    YetiLee as a Canadian myself I wouldn’t stress too much. I would be very surprised if the prelims on Fuel (whatever that is?) aren’t broadcasted on sportsnet like thet are now.

    Sportsnet already has a contract with them here and we don’t miss anything now, I doubt they’d screw a mma crazy market like ours out after successful shows in Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • Niv says:

    Guthookd, you are so right about getting rid of ppv’s in the future.

    Long term success for this sport will be based off of securing large network deals, ala NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL etc, etc which the UFC always likes to compare itself to.

    Boxing was never more popular than in the early 70’s when Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazer and even Sugar Ray Leonard were fighting on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. As a kid it seemed like entire neighborhoods would gather to watch the fights on network tv, and then boom Don King shows up and we start getting our boxing on Closed Circuit Televison (PPV).

    Making something unaccessible may work for a while but it’s only a matter of time before people stop watching with the exception of the hardcore fan.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • Angry Mike says:

    Don’t ask me why, but when I read this I immediately pictured Keith Olberman against the cage while Bill O’Reilly repeatedly drove knees into his abdomen.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • MCM says:

    I haven’t seen Fuel TV since the IFL was big, but wasn’t it a channel for Sk8ers and Surfers and such?
    The rest of it sounds pretty good to me. I’m really interested in the new TUF and think that live fights are gonna be a great addition.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Lord Faust says:

    Another Canadian here, and I am not too worried. There are enough FOX affiliates and deals in place and, even if there wasn’t one, I guarantee there would be a mad dash to get them. I am wondering though, if this means Bellator might be gone from SportsNet.

    @Angry Mike

    I’d take Bill in that fight. Have you seen how tall he is!?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Dufresne says:

    Wtf is Fuel? I just got a different cable package so I could get HDNet and versus at the same time. If I don’t get fuel I’m gonna be pissed.

    Very excited about everything else though, can’t wait for title fights on free tv.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Angry Mike says:

    Lord Faust:

    Yeah. Talk about a reach advantage. He could jab the piss out of a guy. And with legs that long, you know he’d have a wicked triangle choke off his back.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • climbarock says:

    Dear UFC Gladiator,

    What a long strange trip it’s been. At first I thought you were a laughable, over-the-top douchebag – a needless hyperbolism in a sport whose violence is immediately apparent. Then, like one of Pavlov’s dogs, I started to recognize you as the harbinger of a great night of MMA, and our relationship blossomed. Sadly, all things must come to an end.

    Bon Voyage,
    Some guy on an internet forum

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  • Lord Faust says:

    climbarock: you said it better than I could. Going to miss my cue that I need to hurry up, grab my beer, and run the Hell back to the TV room.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • elkymbo says:

    Fuel is an action sports channel tgat started out specialising in extreme sports but has gradually been getting taken over by the UFC in Australia. I can’t wait for this as anything on versus we’ve been missing out on in Oz and it’s been shitting me to tears.
    Have a tops weekend 5 ounce fam!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • You too Elkymbo you too

    Dude how awesome is this?! The Simpsons AND MMA on the same channel?!?! That’s the best news I heard since…well awhile anyway

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • MickeyC says:

    I take it that their talks to buy G4 fell through.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Rece Rock says:

    If the viewership and ratings are high and bigger and bigger sponsors want in on the sport then there will be plenty of reason for Zuffa to abandon PPV (except for maybe occasional super fights or real money makers) ’til then PPV will be there bread and butter…no one is doing better #’s then Zuffa for the events collectively… yes I know some boxing events may trump them one time but over all Zuffa month in and month out are making dough off PPV… If those Advertising bucks start coming in and licencing deals are coming in then maybe they can drop the PPV’s but right now that ain’t happening.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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