When the UFC's deal with Fox was announced, some details of the deal were pretty clear while others were left somewhat hazy. I for one am quite curious about the aspects of the deal that haven't really been talked about.
The things that were confirmed are easy for everyone to remember. There will be 4 big events on Fox each year. On FX, there will be two runs/seasons of the new live format of The Ultimate Fighter along with an 'Ultimate Finale' for each run. In addition to that, FX will have 6 'Fight Night' style events each year, and will be the host of the occasional 'Primetime' series that are done for big fights. So the role of those two channels is pretty clear, but what about all of the leftovers?
The number of total UFC events that is getting thrown around for next year is '34'...it could very likely end up being one or two fewer or more, depending on how things work out. But either way, 34 is the number everyone is throwing around. Of those 34, we know that 4 will be the Fox cards, and 8 will be the Fight Night and TUF Finales on FX.
That leaves 22 remaining events. I personally haven't seen this said, but apparently Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White have been quoted as saying that 12-13 PPVs a year is the cap for the amount of PPVs they can run in a year without going overboard. Considering they will squeeze in 16 this year...that is more then understanable.
So that leaves 9-10 other events that will not be on PPV, FX, or Fox.
From the press conference, we were pretty much told that the remainder of the UFC programming, from UFC Unleashed, Best of Pride, Preliminary Specials, and the Countdown shows would be spread across Fuel TV, the Regional Fox Sports Networks, and Fox Deportes.
One has to assume that they were also referring to any non-PPV events that they planned which would not be shown on Fox or FX...likely cards like the event they will host in Japan in February on the same day as a PPV event. I don't think it's reasonable to expect that to be one of the cards FX wants to air throughout the year.
But my major concern is how all of this extra content is going to divide up. If the Unleashed, Best Of, and Countdowns are all exclusive to Fuel, that's fine...the countdowns are always online later anyway. But if the prelim specials and these 9-10 other events are exclusive to Fuel...I'll be quite discouraged.
I don't have FuelTV, according to my guide information, to get it would be something like 7-8 bucks a month(can't remember specifically) which isn't a HUGE deal, but still. But beyond my personal conundrum of paying to get Fuel and all of their UFC goodness...I'm concerned about the bigger picture.
According to the always 100% reliable Wikipedia...Fuel TV is only in about 26 million American households. That's not very many at all. Basically, I am hoping that the prelim specials and free events get shown on more then just FuelTV. I'd like to see them on at least the FSN's as well as Fuel in the hope that more people will be able to see these events.
The announcement that both FSN and FuelTV will both air the 'World MMA Awards' gives me hope in regards to getting some of the ancillary live UFC programming on FSN as well. Does anyone else have a take on this? Do you think it's likely that the 'extra' UFC events will be doubled or tripled up on FSN, Deportes, and Fuel in order to maximize the number of total viewers, or will these live events be exclusive to Fuel TV in an exclusive effort to build up it's audience?