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 TUF.tv. 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.