Chuck Saftler, network executive, has revealed the new arrangement on Wednesday in a media conference call. Saftler on the other hand did not disclose which night of the week will the UFC reality show will be aired. But as always, FX has a special message for rival cable TV network Spike TV. Spike was the previous partner of UFC as it broadcasted the initial seasons of TUF from 2005 to 2011.
Saftler mentions: “The show is going to move off of Friday nights. I can’t confirm the day right now but it’s definitely moving to a weekday. There will be an announcement on that sometime in the next 30 to 45 days.” The network executive added: “But I will say that Spike should watch their ass.”
To recall, Spike and UFC has ended their partnership last year but the premier cable network has retained its rights to broadcast UFC content up to the end of the year. Spike will continue its MMA content this January when it airs Season 8 of the Bellator Fighting Championships.
There was viewer confusion as Spike continued airing UFC content. “Clearly, Spike has been dogging us for most of this year with the launch of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and trying to pass it off as new content. They will be out of UFC game effective in January. They’re going to try to launch their own reality show that competes with ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ or does very similar things with their Bellator product.” Saftler added that FX will be watching how Spike schedules their shows and will be making a better lineup for UFC.
Figures do not lie; there was a notable all-time low of 624,000 viewers since TUF moved to Friday nights on FX. Dana White, UFC President, even had to deny that Jones and Sonnen were selected to coach this latest season to boost the program’s ratings.
“We were absolutely monitoring the Friday situation and we want to see if there’s a day that can work better for the show…We think we can move off of Friday and with the casting, we have very, very big expectations for the ratings. They should be epic.”