UFC 127 prelims: airing on ION and Facebook

February 22, 2011

MMA Junkie reports that prelims for UFC 127 will air on ION television as well as stream live on the UFC’s Facebook page. Two fights will stream on Facebook and then three more will air on ION.

 Via MMA Junkie:

 UFC officials recently announced that two bouts from this weekend’s event stream on Facebook (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT), and then ION Television carries an additional pair of fights (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).

The UFC made a January debut on ION Television, a small network that allowed the promotion to bypass its cable deal with Spike TV. A two-fight lineup for the UFC 125 event scored 829,000 viewers, about half of what the UFC traditional draws for “UFC Prelims” specials on Spike TV.

Via UFC Press Release:

This is the second time UFC prelims have aired on ION, as three UFC 125 bouts were featured on the network in January. Saturday’s UFC 127 prelims will reach almost 100 million U.S. households, giving UFC fans the opportunity to watch three exciting UFC bouts leading in to the UFC 127 Pay-Per-View event.

“We are excited to give UFC fans three great fights on ION this Saturday,” UFC President Dana White said. “By putting the UFC 127 prelims on ION, we are bringing the fastest-growing sport in the world to almost 100 million homes.”

Payout Perspective:

The prelims will return to Spike TV as the channel will have the UFC 128 Prelims in March. No word on whether further matches will be on Facebook for UFC 128 although it will be likely. With Jones-Rua as the main event of 128, there will undoubtedly be a lot of promotion going into the PPV.

It will be interesting to see how this multi-platform approach will work. Will the time difference play a factor in viewership? Will Spike TV or Versus run counterprogramming (e.g., Zuffa related content) opposite ION’s prelim broadcast as it did for the UFC 125 prelims? The key thing is that more fights are being aired to fans which give the sport more exposure.

5 Responses to “UFC 127 prelims: airing on ION and Facebook”

  1. Tweets that mention UFC 127 prelims: airing on ION and Facebook : MMAPayout.com: The Business of MMA -- Topsy.com on February 22nd, 2011 5:16 PM

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by The Team, pupy. pupy said: @lukewilliamss Source: mmapayout.com — Tuesday, February 22, 2011MMA Junkie reports that prelim… http://bit.ly/ed5TYJ #lukewilliamss […]

  2. Machiel Van on February 23rd, 2011 7:48 AM

    They’ve got my eyes for the night. 10/12 fights guaranteed is a big win for the fans!

  3. jv on February 23rd, 2011 8:14 AM

    Splitting them between the computer is a PITA as you now have to look for them twice and you need to have both sources available. Some thing is better than nothing but it is still some thing they should keep in mind.

  4. Machiel Van on February 24th, 2011 8:58 AM

    True jv, but what TV network can they get to commit 2 hours to air prelim fights instead of 1? In this case, no facebook fights = 2 less viewable fights.

  5. Machiel Van on February 24th, 2011 9:00 AM

    It must also be very cost effective for Zuffa. They get fans more exposure to up and coming UFC fighters that they can then sell later. I can’t imagine it costs them much to stream the fights on their own facebook page. Win for Zuffa and the fans!

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