Spike TV to counterprogram UFC on Versus this Sunday

June 22, 2011

MMA Junkie reports that Spike TV will air a marathon of UFC programming featuring Nate Marquardt. The shows will run opposite the live UFC on Versus 4 event featuring Marquardt in the main event.

Via MMA Junkie:

The UFC and Spike TV are in the homestretch of a multi-year contract, but UFC officials have made no secret that they’re talking to numerous suitors. That means – after a six-year run – the UFC could permanently leave the Spike TV lineup for the first time

Payout Perspective:

A parting shot by Spike TV in what is likely a split with the UFC at the end of the year? The UFC will look for more money than Spike TV is willing to pay. With the continued ascent of media rights fees, the UFC is giving all impressions of the free agent athlete wanting to “explore all options.” That said, the counterprogramming by Spike TV will run during the UFC’s Facebook live stream, the pre-fight show on Versus and the event from Pittsburgh. While it may not take away a ton of viewers from the live event, its a sign that Spike TV will not be in the running for UFC programming in the future.

5 Responses to “Spike TV to counterprogram UFC on Versus this Sunday”

  1. Ron on June 22nd, 2011 7:53 PM

    “A parting shot by Spike TV in what is likely a split with the UFC at the end of the year?”

    That is a real bxxxh move by Spike…good riddance!!

  2. YO on June 22nd, 2011 9:12 PM

    You completely dropped the ball on this one, Jason.

    This isn’t counter-programming AT ALL. This is standard promotional programming and it is part of the UFC’s published communication strategy for the event.

    The Facebook prelims are for hardcore fans.
    The Nate marathon is catch the more casual MMA viewers – and to help give people a reason to watch the main card – The same way Spike does promotional buildup for PPV cards (that also result in less viewers on Spike that particular night).

    Come on. Some basic research and a little common sense would have shown you how wrong you are.
    If Spike wanted to launch a “parting shot”, do you honestly think they would hype up a fighter (Nate) that’s fighting live that night on another network?

    This is the exact opposite of a sign that Spike won’t be running UFC programming in the future. While they may be haggling behind the scenes, neither party is even close to burning a bridge with the other right now.

    Considering the prelims of a “UFC Live” event have very little appeal to begin with, the title of this article is as disingenuous and absurd as it gets.

  3. Machiel Van on June 23rd, 2011 7:13 AM

    I beg to differ YO. Jason is spot on right here.

    What you are proposing would be feasible IF Spike weren’t also broadcasting UFC Fight Night: Marquardt vs Okami in the same exact timeslot as the UFC on Versus show. If you get Spike TV you almost certainly get Versus, so airing the Fight Night on the UFC’s “usual” network is a clear attempt at confusing viewers and drawing eyes away from the VS broadcast. To top it off, they are broadcasting a replay of the entire UFC 95 event immediately before as a lead-in, so it’s obvious that Spike TV is trying to position itself as the destination for UFC programming on that night. The fact that they are showcasing the same fighter who will be fighting LIVE on VS is just an extra little slap in the face. Think about it, Spike TV was not happy when the UFC initially made the deal to broadcast events on VS, why would they promote a live show on a different network (i.e. their competition)?

  4. Diego on June 23rd, 2011 11:45 AM

    It’s definitely a slap in the face and what makes it worse is that they are counter-programming the UFC with UFC programming. Oh snap.

  5. Ghost Search (SteveW) on June 23rd, 2011 11:37 PM

    Either way we are gonna get alot of FREE MMA this weekend so i am excited.

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