Zingano-Rousey to coach TUF 18 on FS1 in September
April 13, 2013
With Cat Zingano defeating Miesha Tate Saturday night, Dana White announced that the next season of TUF will premiere on Fox Sports 1 during the TUF Finale on FX. A press release later that night confirmed the move and that it would premiere Wednesday, September 4th featuring Zingano and Ronda Rousey as the coaches.
Fox Sports 1 launches in August and will feature a UFC live event the night of the network’s premiere.
Via the UFC/Fox press release:
FOX Sports 1 is available in over 90 million homes, making this the biggest sports cable network launch in history, and one of the largest network launches ever. It boasts nearly 5,000 hours of live event, news and original programming annually. In addition to TUF 18, over the course of the year FS1’s Wednesday night UFC programming includes live fight events; UFC TONIGHT, the weekly authority for UFC news and information; and the best library programs.
When Fox announced the launch of the new network, it announced that FX would no longer air sports although it was never confirmed until Saturday whether TUF would stay on the network as it is part reality show/part sports programming.
In addition to Fox Sports 1, Fox announced the launch of FXX which would replace the Fox Soccer Channel and rebrand catering to the 18-34 year old demographic. The network is said to feature original programming and launch September 2nd.
This was a move that apparently was decided months ago. However, if TUF 18 had stayed on FX , it could have grabbed the mainstream appeal. FS1 will cater to a sports-centric audience so any mainstream Rousey-pull may be negated. Moreover, FS1 will be less than a month old when TUF 18 premieres. Does anyone know what channel it will be on? There may be a confusion on where to find it. But from the FS1 perspective, the series would bolster the start of the network and its likely the plan of Fox to have the UFC only on FS1 (and later FS2) to avoid confusion. Also, TUF’s highest ratings average was 1.2M this past season which was not what everyone hoped. So, a move to FS1 to make way for other FX programming probably made sense.