UFC On Fox Media Call Notes

November 9, 2011 4:04 pm by George Matthews

The UFC continued its rounds today with another media flurry to promote this weekends historical network television debut, as they held a media conference call earlier with UFC Chairman/CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, UFC President Dana White, along with Fox Sports Media Group Chairman, David Hill, Fox Sports Co-President Eric Shanks, and FUEL TV General Manager, George Greenberg. Here are some of the highlights of the conference call:

DAVID HILL on expected ratings and the anticipation for Saturday’s heavyweight title fight:

“You never rattle the cages of the ratings gods, but we expect to be pleasantly surprised on Sunday morning.”

“We’re obviously stoked (to have this event on FOX). We’re all huge boxing fans and I think with the death of Joe Frazier, it made people realize that everyone remembers what a great boxer and competitor he was, and the will to win Joe Frazier had. Everyone started talking about the golden days of boxing and what happened to it. To be coming back on primetime with a fight like this, it’s kinda of like the dawn of a new era. It’s like a phoenix coming from the ashes.”

“What boxing was to my generation, UFC is to my son’s. By the end of these seven years, UFC will be mainstream.”

DANA WHITE on his expectations for Saturday night and the chance to work with FOX executives:

“These guys are the best at what they do. David Hill has revolutionized sports. We’d be crazy not to want FOX’s input (on production and the broadcast).”

“No matter what, you know we’re going to deliver. We’re on FOX – the biggest, baddest network on the planet. We couldn’t ask for anything more. This is a dream come true.”

WHITE on the magnitude of the fight:

“This is without a doubt the biggest fight in UFC history. This thing started as a small fringe sport and has grown to what it is today. This Saturday night as we step out onto FOX, millions of people will see UFC who’ve never watched before. As we take this step forward into what we call ‘mainstream,’ we were much more fortunate in that we were able to hand pick a fight that we wanted to put on FOX. If I had to do it all over again, this is still the fight I’d pick to put on network television.”

ERIC SHANKS on the atmosphere at the FOX offices once the UFC deal was announced:

“The day that we signed the deal – I didn’t know it at the time – but I found out that every person at FOX is a UFC fan. People were high-fiving me at the office. That place hasn’t been more pumped since we signed the deal.”

“It’s a coming out party for UFC on FOX (on Saturday) and it’s a coming out party for FUEL.”


“In general, about 25 percent of our programming pie will be dedicated to UFC. Over 2,000 hours of UFC programs. We’ll have at least 100 hours of live programming. We get all the shoulder programming, whether it’s ‘Primetime,’ ‘Countdown,’ ‘Best of,’ and we have access to the PRIDE library.”

“As we expose a brand new audience to the MMA world, this thing is going to explode. It’s going to be represented in primetime, on late night, on the weekends. It will be the wind in our sails for sure.”




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