Spike TV to air Cain-JDS marathon opposite UFC on Fox 1

September 26, 2011

MMA Junkie reports that Spike TV will air a Junior dos Santos-Cain Velasquez marathon opposite UFC on Fox 1 on Saturday, November 12th. The counter-programming efforts by Spike is another sign of the unhappy ending between the network and the UFC.

Via MMA Junkie:

On Nov. 12, Spike TV will air a “UFC Unleashed” marathon – dubbed “Dos Santos vs. Velasquez: Unleashed for the Heavyweight Title” – featuring past fights with UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos.

Payout Perspective:

The move comes as no surprise considering the ending of the Spike-UFC relationship and the fact that Spike beat Versus in ratings when Spike ran a Nate Marquardt marathon opposite UFC on Versus 4 in June. Notwithstanding the Marquardt issues for the live event, Spike beat Versus in the ratings using reruns as counter-programming. Not sure how much affect the counter-programming will be considering Fox’s marketing efforts and the Pacquiao-Marquez fight. Still, the hope for Spike is that it takes some viewers away from the live event and/or there is viewer confusion as to which channel the live UFC will be on. Regardless of the Fox marketing efforts, there is still the concern that some viewers will not get the message of the UFC move to Fox. The counter-programming is an example of things to come if Spike maintains the UFC library in the coming year. Looking at the schedule, there are some very good fights that many MMA fans may have missed on PPV and can see now on Spike.

8 Responses to “Spike TV to air Cain-JDS marathon opposite UFC on Fox 1”

  1. Diego on September 26th, 2011 12:01 PM

    Good move by Spike. I’m sure they want the UFC to buy back the rights, which would be a nice earner for Spike and free them up to start showing Bellator. Dana is not budging, but if Spike can create enough confusion Fox may push Dana into a deal.

    Jason, is there any data on how much Spike is asking for the rights?

  2. Machiel Van on September 26th, 2011 1:07 PM

    And so it begins…

  3. Jason Cruz on September 26th, 2011 1:42 PM


    Let me do a little digging and see what I find…

  4. Bill Jennings on September 26th, 2011 3:31 PM

    they dont have rights to ppv fights. They have rights to packaged unleashed content, tuf and fight nights.

  5. CodeMaster on September 26th, 2011 7:52 PM

    I don’t see why Dana should be concerned. When Spike airs reruns of the UFC, it is a giant commercial for the brand. Sure, there may be some short-term confusion—but I am certain Spike will not sell back the 2012 library rights for chickenfeed.

    This is really the battle for the casual ban–since seasoned MMA fans know where the current fights are aired–and Fox will advertise UFC on MLB, NFL, Nascar, NBA etc.

    The bottom line is that the UFC brand will be aired on two networks, and Bellator is not allowed to run on Spke as long as the deal is in place. Spike playing hard-ball now may help them in the short-term–but in the long-term–they may reap more downside than upside to their aggressive counter-programming.

  6. BrainSmasher on September 26th, 2011 8:32 PM

    The UFC is doing the right thing. Spike is in a no lose situation. UFc program will get good ratings all year long for them. Spike doesnt have anything getting ratings at this point. To be honest the only way they have a chance to hurt the UFC imo is not showing Unleashed and UFNs events. It is packaging loses of the main event fighters they are counter programming. If Shogun is the main event then put all his bad fights on an unleashed. The UFC will try to build up their main event fighters and Spike can try to make people not care so much about the fight. Outside of this Spike is just promoting the UFC. I think it is funny that Spike is making a huge deal out of this. All the attention this has got only makes people more aware that the UFC is on Fox and not Spike. reducing the number of people who may be confused.

    Even though both are just making business decisions. I think Spike TV is the ones playing dirty here. The UFC signed with them under the agreement that they could sign with a major non cable network. Spike chooses not to resign the UFC. The UFC honors their contract by getting the Network deal Spike knew they were looking for and making FX wait until 2012 before they get any shows. All in line with the contract. Yet spike uses a loophole to promote Bellator on its website. Maybe the UFC should take the free prelims away from Spike and the 1 million viewers each one brings and let Fox show them on their website. Apparently the Spike TV deal has no mention of exclusive web broadcast. So if that means Spike can use to to get around their exclusive deal then im sure the UFC can do the same.

  7. Rear Naked Links | The MMA Blog | Blogs | theScore.com on September 27th, 2011 2:35 AM

    […] Spike will run a Junior dos Santos-Cain Velasquez marathon to counter program against UFC on Fox. (MMA Payout) […]

  8. Machiel Van on September 27th, 2011 7:21 AM

    It really seems like the loser in this situation is Bellator. Despite Rebney’s “we’re completely satisfied with MTV2” BS shpeel, you have to think that this situation is extremely frustrating for Bellator. Just the remnants of programming from their biggest competitor (who is now also in league with Viacom’s biggest competitor) are preventing them from moving on to a better TV deal. Talk about being forced to live in the UFC’s shadow.

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