One of the biggest gripes from fans heading into this weekend’s UFC on Fox 1 event is the fact that there will only be one fight airing live on TV.
Today Fox and UFC executives stated that this is merely a one-time thing and that all future events will feature more than just the one fight.
Fox Sports co-president Eric Shanks broke it down today during the pre-fight media madness.
“We definitely think the future broadcasts are going to be longer,” he said. “Talking to the UFC guys, Dana (White) and Lorenzo (Fertitta), and also talking to our own affiliates, we believe probably the sweet spot for broadcasts is an hour-and-a-half to let you get in two, maybe three fights.
“Not every fight that’s going to be on FOX is going to be a championship fight, even though I’ve told Dana and Lorenzo I wouldn’t mind.”
In addition to the changes set for 2012 that will include at least one more live fight on FOX TV, executives from both companies announced today that going forward UFC preliminary card fights will be removed entirely from the facebook platform and will now be relegated to live TV programming on FUEL TV.
The new deal has opened up a new generation of programming for fight fans and fighters alike. At one point in history, preliminary card fighters often put their hearts, soles and careers on the line in fights that would never make the light of day unless you where a member of the live audience in attendance.
As time progressed the UFC took their preliminary card fights to their UFC.com on demand feature and made these fights available for purchase. Fast forward a short while further and they started airing two-featured preliminary card fights on Spike TV’s “UFC Prelim Special” series for select events.
As of this year hardcore fans have been able to enjoy all the preliminary card action for every UFC event for free via a facebook stream on the UFC’s facebook channel and now, we head into the future where all fighters on every card will get their own timeslot to a national audience on FUEL TV.
FUEL TV is a Fox affiliate station and their commitment to UFC programming is going to be unrivaled. For the 2012 schedule they are dedicating 2,000 hours of programming to all things Octagon related and that makes up 25% of their broadcast time for the calendar year.
While many fans may be disappointed that we only get to see one fight this weekend, this new partnership is blossoming into an incredible opportunity for both fighters and fight fans.
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