Fox Sports 1’s UFC Fight Night averaged 1.78 million viewers Saturday night in the new network’s first-ever primetime telecast. That’s the second-best ratings for the UFC since signing with Fox Sports heading into 2012 — behind only a Saturday night FX telecast on January 19, when the franchise averaged 1.9 million viewers. UFC on FX had averaged 1.29 million viewers overall, notes SportsBusiness Daily. FX1 also boasted it finished the night with better stats in key male demos than did the four major English-language networks, which you could file under Damning with Faint Praise. After the UFC battles, the premiere of FS1’s Fox Sports Live averaged a 0.3 preliminary rating from 10:43 PM-12 AM ET; ESPN’s SportsCenter earned a 0.6 rating from 11 PM-midnight. Saturday from 12:30-2:30 PM FS1 had earned a preliminary 0.6 rating for its NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Michigan International Speedway. ESPN in the same window averaged a preliminary 0.7 for Australia vs. Puerto Rico at the Little League World Series. Overall, Fox Sports 1, which launched Saturday, featured 16.5 hours of live sports coverage Saturday, including its late morning/afternoon NASCAR coverage and five hours of UFC, followed by the premiere of Fox Sports Live.
‘The Raid’ Helmer Gareth Evans Conspiring With Universal On MMA Fighter-Turned-Bank Robber Tale ‘Breaking The Bank’
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has acquired the fact-based drama Breaking The Bank as a directing vehicle for Gareth Evans, whose Indonesian action film The Raid: Redemption electrified numerous festivals before being released recently by Sony Pictures Classics. The fact-based drama is based on the book Heist: The True Story Of The World’s Biggest Cash Robbery by Howard Sounes, and the Sports Illustrated article Breaking The Bank by L. Jon Wertheim. XYZ Films is producing with Evans. XYZ is the company that executive produced and handled worldwide sales for The Raid: Redemption, and the remake of the action movie that is in the works at Screen Gems.
Cinedigm Entertainment Group has picked up Like Water, a documentary about the life of Ultimate Fighting Championship star Anderson Silva, one of the best-known figures in the growing sport of mixed martial arts. Lionsgate will handle domestic ancillary distribution, and Cinedigm will release the doc theatrically in the summer. The film, directed by first-time director Pablo Croce, played this year at Tribeca. Cinedigm has been expanding into independent films for its digital exhibition business, recently signalling it is a formidable buyer of indie fare with a theatrical distribution deal with New Video announced at Sundance. The company, which also specializes in distributing alternate content in theaters, also recently announced a one-day U.S. premiere on March 1 of this year’s Slamdance opener No Room For Rockstars before making the rock ‘n’ roll doc available on iTunes and DVD. ”It was clear that Cinedigm’s platform and distribution strategy was the best way to showcase [Like Water] for audiences,” said Kevin Iwashina, Managing Partner of Preferred Content, who made the deal announced today. “I am excited that there is not only a new, active buyer in the marketplace, but one that understands the changing ways in which consumers digest their content.”
Woodland Hills, CA (Oct. 20, 2011) – The Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) will partner with innovative digital theatrical distribution company Cinedigm Digital Cinema (NASDAQ:CIDM) for the first ever, live 3D broadcast of a UFC Pay-Per-View event when it brings it Feb. 4, 2012 fight card to upwards of 120 theatres across the nation. The 3D broadcast will be the first of four annual Pay-Per-Views set to air in theatres via the partnership between UFC and Cinedigm.
It’s Official: UFC Signs Multi-Year Deal With Fox Sports; Fox To Air Live Events, FX Gets ‘Ultimate Fighter’
Los Angeles – Today, Ultimate Fighting Championship, the world’s leading mixed martial arts organization and No. 1 Pay-Per-View event provider in the world, finds its perfect media match in FOX, the No. 1 television network in the country. FOX Sports Media Group, the umbrella entity representing FOX Networks Group’s wide array of sports platforms, has reached a multi-year, multi-media rights agreement with Zuffa, LLC, owner of the UFC brand.
The landmark agreement, which puts UFC on par with many of the country’s professional sports organizations, delivers four live events in prime time or late night each year to the FOX broadcast network, home to the country’s biggest sports events, including the Super Bowl, World Series and Daytona 500. The first live event airs Saturday, Nov. 12 at 9:00 PM ET/6:00 PM PT. Additional programming on multiple FOX networks launches January 2012 and includes live fights, pre and post shows, countdown shows, UFC Unleashed, UFC Primetime, the UFC Knockout series, Best of Pride, weigh-in specials, and much more original content from extensive Zuffa archives. The agreement also provides for developing robust mobile and authenticated online offerings to exploit a vast array of digital platform rights.
In spring 2012, THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER, UFC’s signature weekly reality show moves to FX, FOX’s general entertainment cable network now in more than 99 million homes. With the move to FX, the show will feature a newly-designed format. FX is also set to televise another four-to six-live UFC events annually, with a mixture of additional events and programs heading to FSMG cable networks including FUEL TV.
With Fox Sports poised to officially confirm this morning that it has signed a multi-year deal with mixed-martial arts league UFC for coverage on Fox and FX, Spike TV announced the end of its UFC franchise, The Ultimate Fighter, which is expected to migrate to FX. The Ultimate Fighter season 14 in September will be our last,” the network said in a statement. “We are increasing our commitment to distinctive, original series that we own such as Auction Hunters and Bar Rescue which are delivering on our goal to reach a broader audience. Our 6-year partnership with the UFC has been incredibly beneficial in building both our brands, and we wish them all the best in the future.
Fox Sports and mixed-martial arts league UFC have just finalized a multi-year deal that will put at least four primetime MMA cards on the Fox network each year and weekly programming on cable sibling FX. The Sports Business Journal says the deal could be worth as much as $90 million a year over seven or eight years; Fox Sports declined to comment. A broadcast deal is a big step up for UFC, which in addition to lucrative pay-per-view events has weekly shows on cable nets Versus and Spike TV — under the new agreement with Fox, that programming will move to FX beginning in January after those deals expire. (Spike TV still owns rights to a library of UFC programming, including episodes of UFC Unleashed, through 2012.) Fuel, another Fox-owned cable network, also will see some UFC programming, SBJ says. The deal also is a coup for Fox: In June, it was reported that Comcast’s NBCUniversal was in serious negotiations with UFC, with those talks centered on the league taking a controlling stake in NBCU’s G4 cable network, which sported the right young-male demo but has seen ratings challenges. NBCU-owned Versus also already had UFC programming. Instead, rival Fox has taken those demo eyeballs away.