UFC On Fox Again Set To Air Against PPV Marquee Boxing Match
Fox on Saturday night will air its third UFC primetime broadcast, headlined by the Nate Diaz-Jim Miller bout, and the card is an "exciting show that has failed to capture the public's imagination,” as the fight is “being completely overshadowed by a monstrous boxing match the same night between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Miguel Cotto,” according to Matt Bishop of the DETROIT NEWS. Although the UFC event, from “top-to-bottom, is an excellent show that should produce fireworks inside the cage, it hardly has the marquee name value the first two Fox shows had and will likely get crushed by the pay-per-view.” This is not the first time the UFC has “gone head-to-head with a marquee boxing pay-per-view with a Fox show.” The first Fox broadcast last November was “on the same night as the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fight, but the UFC featured a strong fight on Fox as Cain Velasquez defended the UFC heavyweight championship against Junior dos Santos in a highly publicized, much anticipated fight.” After drawing “solid numbers for the first two shows, it will be surprising if this one doesn't draw the lowest number of the three” (DETROIT NEWS, 5/4). In Las Vegas, Case Keefer notes "UFC on Fox 2," which “wasn’t held on the same night as a Mayweather or Pacquiao bout, peaked with 6 million viewers.” Airing against Pacquiao-Marquez in November “garnered the inaugural UFC on FOX fight 8.8 million viewers." UFC President Dana White “believes some of the success came from the overlap in fans already in front of a television for boxing” (LAS VEGAS SUN, 5/4).
THE BRIGHT SIDE: MMA WEEKLY’s Damon Martin noted Fox execs four months into their seven-year deal with the UFC “couldn’t be happier with their latest acquisition.” Fox Sports co-President & co-COO Eric Shanks said, “I continue to be amazed. You guys all know where it came from 10 years ago, and the fact that the first time on broadcast television almost six million viewers, the second one in that demo of 18-49 we beat all three networks combined.” He added, “The prelims on FX have already beaten 25 out of the 26 prelims on Spike, so it’s amazing.” The UFC “explosion has especially boosted the once woefully low rated” Fuel TV. Shanks: “There’s nothing bad to say about the UFC’s performance on any of the channels” (MMAWEEKLY.com, 5/3).
TUNE IN: DAILY VARIETY’s Jill Goldsmith noted Vice Media Thursday “unveiled a handful of original shows and five new channels on fashion, news, food, shopping and a venture with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.” The channel with UFC “launching in September is dedicated to the culture” of MMA. The network's lineup includes "Little Big Guys," which will show “what it takes for kids to become MMA bruisers” (VARIETY.com, 5/3).