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Big news for MMA fans broke today, as Fox Sports executives confirmed that the UFC will hold multiple fight cards on the new Fox Sports 1 channel, which will launch on Saturday, August 17th.
Today Fox is formally announcing their plans for their new sports channels. The launch date for Fox Sports 1 is set for Saturday, August 17th of this year, and MMA fans have been wondering what that would mean for the UFC, who will have their FX and Fuel content shifted to the sports networks. Richard Deitsch, who is at the press conference in New York, reported that the UFC will broadcast 12 live cards on Wednesdays through the end of the year:
Fox Sports One will air 12 UFC "Fight Nights" on Wednesdays from Aug 17 through end of year. Bouts will air from 8PM-11PM.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) March 5, 2013
Not all the details have been sorted out or clarified yet. It should also be pointed out that August 17th (launch date) is a Saturday and not a Wednesday. The 12 fight night cards through the end of the calendar year would be roughly one event per two weeks on FS1.
Deitsch also confirmed that UFC Tonight, currently on Fuel TV, will move to Fox Sports 1 and air on Wednesdays from 7:30-8 PM ET.
Fox Sports 1 is expected to be available in 90 million homes nationwide.
The UFC's deal with Fox has just taken a dramatic turn, and that means a rise in free fight cards starting this summer.
Stay tuned for more details on UFC content on Fox as they come in.
UPDATE: These events will NOT be weekly, bi-weekly, or anything like it. Richard Deitsch spoke to Dana White, who confirmed that the 12 fight cards will be held on select Wednesdays from August to a TBA date in 2014.
Spoke to @danawhite for clarity on UFC fights on Fox Sports 1. They'll be 12 fight nights on Wednesdays from Aug 17 thru TBA date in 2014.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) March 5, 2013
So no UFC fights every Wed on Fox Sports 1 but cards on various Wednesdays starting Aug. 17 at channel launch.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) March 5, 2013