Top 10 of 2012: No. 8 Zuffa continues international expansion

December 27, 2012

The number 8 business story of 2012 is the continued international expansion of the UFC.  This year saw the launch of international TUFs, an Indian television deal and its first event in China.

The first international TUF was in Brazil and involved Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva as coaches.  The show ran on Globo television in Brazil and on Fuel TV in America.  It was also streamed on  Although the show did not air on Fuel TV until the season was halfway through its Brazilian television run, it was very popular in Brazil.  The show drew an impressive 8 million viewers for the debut episode on Globo TV. The number  was later adjusted to 12 million .  Regardless of 8 or 12 million, the show was a hit.  The UFC stated that over 100,000 viewers watched the show online.

In addition, the UFC introduced an Australian version of  The Ultimate Fighter subtitled “The Smashes” which featured Australian and British fighters.  The series which debuted in September was aired on FX Australia and ESPN UK.

The UFC made inroads into the Chinese market as it held its first event in China.  Off the mainland of China to be exact on the island of Macau.  It used Bruce Lee images in its marketing for the event to entice the locals.

The UFC also signed a television deal in India where it plans a TUF series in the near future.

It announced on Thursday that it will be going to Mexico in 2013 and Puerto Rico in 2014.

Events outside of North America this year included Brazil twice, England, Australia, Sweden, Japan and Macau.

3 Responses to “Top 10 of 2012: No. 8 Zuffa continues international expansion”

  1. Weezy02 on December 28th, 2012 9:32 AM

    This was the first year in UFC history where the majority of pay-per-view events originated from other nations.

  2. jackwio on December 28th, 2012 9:26 PM

    the ufc understands the sport is being taken over by foreigners and minorities. therefore it needs to reach out to those fans. because it’s gonna bleeding american fans. i think it is already due in part to this takeover

  3. codemaster on January 7th, 2013 5:38 PM

    The international expansion continues apace, and provides a global breadth to the UFC franchise.

    The numbers in Brazil are huge–and probably understated. Brazil has a population of 200 million, so success there is an important coup for the UFC.

    As I have mentioned in other posts, the UFC is measured by such yardsticks as TV ratings and PPV numbers–but there are a huge number of fans who watch MMA online from all over the world.

    Mexico is an important market to crack–since it has a long history of rabid boxing fans and the country population is 114 million–it would be a nice addition to the global franchise.

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