On a pay-per-view night for the UFC, the viewing experience for fans goes something like: Prelims on FX, main card on pay-per-view, post-fight show on Fuel.
Throw in the occasional pre-fight show on Fuel, a "Big" Fox card and you've got fans hitting up multiple networks for what is essentially the same content.
It can get confusing.
Fox's announcement of the new Fox Sports 1 network, a 24-hour channel aimed at giving ESPN a serious run for its money, hopes to fix most of that fractured landscape for MMA viewers.
Wednesday nights will essentially be UFC night on the new network, which replaces the Speed channel starting Aug. 17.
"When we first signed this deal with Fox, it happened so fast and we have so much content and we needed as much on Fox as possible, and they did a great job of spreading it across all platforms: Fox, FX, Fuel. But the end game was always FS1," UFC president Dana White told Newsday's Neil Best. "So, we couldn’t be more excited about being on a sports network, like we should be, getting the kind of play we’re going to get from 'UFC Tonight' on a Wednesday night, and all of our other programming. Not to be cocky, but we rate. We draw. We pull numbers. And not just in certain markets but all across the country and in that key male demo. So I think we’re going to do great things on Fox Sports 1. Being a part of this thing is going to be big for us, and us being a part of it is going to be big for them."
The consolidation of UFC content on FS1 is something that pleased White, among others.
"Yup, and on a sports network with sports shows. They’re going to have a 'SportsCenter' type show, etc., etc. We’re starting with 12 [live events] right now but I guarantee you we’re going to end up with more programming on that. It’s going to be great… I love it, man. I’m happy with this deal."