Fuel TV Builds Relationship With UFC By Airing 24-Hour Marathon Event
Fuel TV announced Tuesday that it will "air a 24-hour UFC marathon on Jan. 1 that starts a relationship between the channel and the UFC," according to Kevin Iole of YAHOO SPORTS. As part of UFC's deal with Fox, Fuel will air "more than 2,000 hours of programming a year, including more than 100 hours of live events." The channel also will "broadcast live fight cards, 'UFC Tonight' -- a weekly news and information show, live weigh-ins, pre- and post-fight shows and various other content." It will "air more UFC-related programming than any network ever has done." Fuel TV Exec VP & GM George Greenberg said that UFC content "meshes perfectly with Fuel’s plans." A Fuel spokesperson said that FX will "carry pay-per-view prelims and Fuel will run the prelims for events which air on FX, FOX, and Fuel." Occasional prelims will "still be carried on Facebook." Greenberg said that the split between male and female viewers of UFC programming is "now roughly 85 percent male, 15 percent female." He "believes that women’s demographic will increase by 10 to 15 percent as UFC programming on Fuel gains a foothold." Fuel will carry the "entire fight card from Nashville, Tenn., on Jan. 20." Fuel also will "air the preliminary bouts for the UFC on Fox 2 card in Chicago on Jan. 28" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 12/14). YAHOO SPORTS' Damon Martin noted Fuel "currently boasts availability to approximately 36 million homes" and is "bolstering for a big increase in subscribers and outlets in the next year." UFC President Dana White said, "Since they found out that the UFC is coming to Fox and Fuel is going to be a huge destination -- you can’t be a UFC fan and not have Fuel, we’re gonna have so many live fights and MMA content that fans are gonna want -- they’ve already gone up 11 percent. They’re in 38 million homes now." Greenberg said that he "can't make cable providers pick up Fuel TV if they don't already carry it, but the fans will soon be demanding it enough that it's going to happen" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 12/13).
DRAWING AD INTEREST: BROADCASTING & CABLE's Jon Lafayette noted Fuel is "selling packages involving billboards and title sponsorship, and companies that had not advertised on the channel before in both the car and energy drink categories have shown interest." Fox Cable Ad Sales President Lou LaTorre said, "Demand's been great. Sellout is above what we had targeted. Pricing is above. And the number of categories that we had focused on being interested is far broader than we anticipated" (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 12/13 issue).