SBD/November 29, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

UFC Considering Sydney For PPV Event As The Organization Continues Its Global Push

Event would be UFC's third in Sydney, following two sold-out events
UFC is considering Sydney, Australia, “for an early March pay-per-view event, possibly UFC 145 on March 4,” according to sources cited by MMAJUNKIE.com. The event would be “the third to touch down” in Sydney following two sold-out events, UFC 110 and UFC 127. Allphones Arena likely "would host the March event.” That is the same venue that hosted the previous UFC events in Australia, “which averaged nearly 18,000 attendees per show.” UFC yesterday also “held a press conference in Tokyo to promote UFC 144, which takes place Feb. 26 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan” (MMAJUNKIE.com, 11/28). YAHOO SPORTS’ Dave Meltzer noted the Japan card “will be followed six days later by what is tentatively scheduled as the second FX show, from Sydney.” It would be “a Saturday late morning and afternoon show on March 3 broadcast in prime time March 2 in the U.S.” It "would mark the first time much of the UFC crew will be stationed overseas for an extended period of time, first going to Japan early to promote and put together that show, and head to Australia immediately after." Meltzer noted the question coming out of this “ambitious schedule ... is how much UFC product is too much?” The most successful of the foreign markets so far “has been Brazil.” UFC “has still talked about plans of running an outdoor soccer stadium show in the country at some point next year, which could break the company’s attendance record set April 30 in Toronto of 55,724.” Meanwhile, a date in Stockholm, Sweden, “hasn’t been announced, but company officials have confirmed its being worked on for early in the year” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/23).

AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCE: SHERDOG.com's Tony Loiseleur noted despite this being UFC parent company Zuffa’s “first foray into promoting in Japan and Asia at large, company officials promised to bring the complete UFC experience to Japanese fans.” UFC Asia Managing Dir Mark Fischer said, “This is going to be a fully authentic UFC event like all of our big events all over the world.” Given the “nascent state of pay-per-view and cable television culture in Japan, Fischer also noted the promotion’s ongoing negotiations with their local broadcast partners to make the event freely available to the wider domestic audience.” Fischer: “We are in discussions with [satellite broadcasting company] WOWOW to make this broadcast available to a wide audience, unscrambled, throughout Japan.” UFC U.K. President & Managing Dir of Int'l Development Marshall Zelaznik said that “should such an arrangement with Japanese broadcast partners be reached with Japanese broadcast partners, it is unlikely that the main card will be offered for free to the Japanese television audience.” Undercard bouts “will remain available on Facebook for other international fans, but a different approach may be taken for Japan” (SHERDOG.com, 11/28).

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