by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
At the UFC 64 post-fight press conference, Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White commented, “There’s a ton of programming coming. We’re going to blow your mind again this year. Wait until you see what we’ve got coming.” With a slew of announcements recently, it appears that he wasn’t kidding.
In conjunction with various other entities, the UFC has announced deals that include expanding their presence on SpikeTV, reaching into the Hispanic market with Fox Sports, and new programming on Microsoft’s Xbox 360.
In October, the UFC and Spike TV announced the new magazine format UFC program “Inside the UFC.” A co-production between the two companies, the show will air at 12:00 Midnight PT/ET, hosted by longtime UFC broadcaster Joe Rogan. The series is set to feature a behind the scenes look into the lives of the fighters of the UFC. Other segments of the program will feature previews and recaps of events, a look at up-and-coming fighters, and training tips. The show was slated to debut tonight, November 9th, but the premier episode has reportedly been pushed back to November 30th.
The UFC followed up their “Inside the UFC” announcement by releasing information about a new series of six 1-hour episodes for Fox Sports en Español. The series, entitled “Gladiadores del UFC,” features past UFC fights and fighters in a program designed specifically for Spanish-speaking audiences on the leading Spanish-language sports network on cable television. Gladiadores del UFC debuted on Fox Sports en Español on November 3rd.
The deal with Fox Sports en Español is obviously part of the UFC’s announced plans to expand their presence in the Hispanic market. “We’re going to aggressively go after the Hispanic market over the next couple of years,” said White recently.
Showing the further diversity of the expansion of their programming, the UFC was also announced as part of a deal by Microsoft to offer digitally delivered TV shows and movies to the gaming community on its popular Xbox 360 game console. A recent press release noted as part of the deal, “the Ultimate Fighting Championship will make 50 of its most intense fights available for download as well as select episodes from the original season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ reality series.”
It’s not really clear how many minds have been blown by these recent announcements, but it is likely that expanding their presence into so many diverse areas should help the Ultimate Fight Championship to continue their dominance in the United States mixed martial arts market.