“Ultimate Fridays” to run opposite TUF-Bellator

December 20, 2011

Spike TV announced that it would air episodes from the past 14 episodes of The Ultimate Fighter on Fridays. The programming move runs opposite FX’s “The Ultimate Fighter” and Bellator on MTV2.

Via Spike TV press release:

Spike TV, the recognized home of mixed martial arts on television, has announced a new three-hour programming block debuting on Friday, March 2 (9:00 PM – Midnight, ET/PT) featuring the greatest episodes from the 14 seasons of “The Ultimate Fighter.” From Rashad Evans to Matt Serra, from Forrest Griffin to Kimbo Slice, “The Ultimate Fighter Fridays” on Spike TV will showcase all the incredible knockouts, unbelievable submissions, and tense drama from the seven years of the hit Spike series. The network will air special-themed editions of “The Ultimate Fighter Fridays” with input from fans via Facebook and Twitter. Details will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

I originally thought that Bellator moving to Friday night was a smart move because it could own Friday night. I was wrong as TUF will be on FX on Friday night and now Spike TV will air reruns of past TUFs. An interesting question posed by some is whether airing TUF on Friday would impact Bellator ratings.

John Morgan of MMA Junkie tweeted that a Spike TV executive stated the network chose Friday night because, “Spike has to monetize the library the UFC prefers we keep and run.” An obvious jab at the UFC.

Payout Perspective:

Spike TV’s programming decision will definitely impact both Bellator and TUF. Although reruns, many people will want to see the early seasons which include Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell, Rich Franklin and Randy Couture.The move appears to be a direct counter to TUF on FX rather than Bellator on MTV2 in the continued bad breakup between the two.This spring will be full of MMA Fridays and it will be interesting to see who will win the ratings war.

One Response to ““Ultimate Fridays” to run opposite TUF-Bellator”

  1. BrainSmasher on December 21st, 2011 3:51 PM

    Nobody will win the ratings war. The UFC will of course get the better ratings but will lose some to Spike TV. Spike TV and Bellator will realize that their ratings will always been inconsistent and low because they depend on the word “Tournament” to draw viewers rather than Star fighters. When they make that change to building stars. Or maybe even before then. The UFC will cherry pick their fighters. Either running up the contracts of their fighters to numbers Belltor cant afford. Or taking the fighters Spike TV used their entire network to build. Wonder how Spike will feel when the build up a fighter who is stolen by the UFC and that fighters takes Spike TV viewers over to FOX?

    Spike should have just parted ways with the UFC and moved on to Bellator. Instead i think they are trying to start a war they cant win. Even if Spike drew NBC or FOX type ratings they couldnt afford to compete with the UFC PPV revenue. With the UFC getting an extra 100 mill a year from Fox and the possible increase to PPV from the partnership. The UFC can take any fighter they want. Even if it is just to be spiteful. The UFC was able to sign Mirko Cro Cop and others away from Pride. Pride had lost its tv deal but was still a much bigger Promotion than Bellator will be on Spike.

    This war will last much longer than the 1 year of library rights Spike has. If they do not realize this then they are making a big mistake.

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