by Ivan Trembow – MMAWeekly.com
The UFC is expanding into the syndicated television market and has reached a deal with Trifecta Entertainment & Media to launch a weekly syndicated TV show in the fall of 2007.
Hosted by UFC color commentator and Inside the UFC host Joe Rogan, the new show will be called UFC Wired and will air in syndication on local TV networks throughout the United States starting at the beginning of the 2007-2008 TV season.
The format of the hour-long weekly series is tentatively planned to be a mixture of UFC Unleashed and Inside the UFC. Advertising will be sold in the weekend syndication market, meaning that the show will air on Saturday or Sunday, depending on your local market.
UFC Wired will be the first syndicated show that Trifecta Entertainment & Media has distributed since the company was founded in 2005 by former MGM Entertainment President Hank Cohen.
Cohen said in a press release, “When we formed Trifecta, we agreed it was a priority to identify a high-profile property before launching our syndication business and, without a doubt, UFC Wired is that property.”
Trifecta’s initial committment to UFC Wired is a 22-episode order.
Given the weak ratings of the current crop of first-run syndicated weekly TV shows in the young male demographics that form the UFC’s target audience, it’s conceivable that UFC Wired could become one of the highest-rated weekly syndicated shows on all of television in the young male demographics. The current leaders in the 18-to-34-year-old male demographic among first-run, non-scripted weekly syndicated shows are Maximum Exposure, The Chris Matthews Show, and Ebert & Roeper.
The UFC’s expansion into the syndicated TV market comes on the heels of several other expansion initiatives, which include buying the WEC, buying selected assets of the WFA, and reportedly entering into negotiations to buy Pride Fighting Championships (although Pride has publicly denied those reports). The news also comes mere weeks after the launch of a new, magazine-style weekly series on Spike TV called Inside the UFC.