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