SBD/January 30, 2013/Media

Randy Couture Reportedly Joins Spike TV In Multiyear Deal To Include Bellator Reality Show

Couture had been an analyst for UFC events on Fox since retiring as a fighter

Former UFC fighter Randy Couture has “signed into a multi-year deal with Spike TV, a property of Viacom, to appear in multiple projects for the cable channel, as well as other possible ventures within the media conglomerate's family of networks,” according to sources cited by Loretta Hunt of SI.com. Couture's “first role will be as a coach" in a Bellator MMA reality series, "which begins shooting in February and airs later this year.” Sources said that the deal with Spike TV and Viacom was “executed in late December, much to the disapproval" of UFC President Dana White. Couture since his retirement from the UFC in April '11 had “most recently served as an on-camera analyst for the UFC's live events on Fox.” However, Couture was “absent from the 'UFC on Fox 6' broadcast on Jan. 26, replaced by one-time teammate" and UFC fighter Chael Sonnen (SI.com, 1/29). YAHOO SPORTS’ Maggie Hendricks wrote Bellator is “smartly banking on Couture’s popularity as a fighter and an actor to help grow their promotion” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 1/29).

SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER: Fox finished with a 2.4 rating and 4.2 million viewers for its sixth UFC telecast on Saturday night, down slightly from a 2.5 rating and 4.4 million viewers for “UFC on Fox 5” in December. The most recent telecast did deliver Fox a win in primetime among all key adult and male demos, with the 3.0 rating among males 18-34 actually up from a 2.8 for the Dec. 10 telecast. Saturday night’s telecast opened with a 1.9 rating for the first fight between Erik Koch and Ricardo Lamas. The Glover Teixeira-Rampage Jackson bout then earned a 2.5 rating before the telecast peaked at a 3.1 rating for the main event featuring Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson. Louisville led all markets with a 5.4 local rating, followed by Tulsa (4.7) and Columbus, Ohio (4.4) (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

"UFC ON FOX" AUDIENCE TO DATE
DATE
HEADLINE FIGHT
RATING
VIEWERS (000)
11/12/11
Junior Dos Santos-Cain Velasquez*
3.1
5,675
1/28/12
Rashad Evans-Phil Davis
2.6
4,661
5/5/12
Nate Diaz-Jim Miller
1.5
2,418
8/4/12
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua-Brandon Vera
1.4
2,436
12/8/12
Benson Henderson-Nate Diaz
2.5
4,392
1/26/13
Demetrious Johnson-John Dodson
2.4
4,219
   

NOTE: * = Telecast was only one hour. Subsequent telecasts were at least two hours.

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