Mixed martial arts is one of the fastest growing sports as it continues to watch it’s popularity rise across the world, so the UFC is looking to capitalize on the increased market by adding more shows to the 2014 calendar.
UFC president Dana White had previously said the promotion will look to put on around 50 shows next year, but they will need to find a place to air their bouts.
Since cable networks won’t always be willing to give up their time slots to the UFC, Dana White and company are planning to unveil a new digital network later this month that will allow fight fans across the world to watch the action.
“The UFC has always been ahead of the game in the digital world,” UFC co-owner and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta told USA Today. “The UFC was the first major sporting organization to embrace social media and the first to offer live pay-per-view events across multiple digital platforms. The new digital network continues that tradition of innovation, bringing unrivaled choice to UFC fans.”
From USA Today:
While UFC officials would not reveal an expected pricing structure for the platform, the network will feature live and on-demand programming, including more than a dozen live fight cards beginning with UFC Fight Night 34 on Jan. 4 at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre.
An event March 8 at London’s O2 Arena also will stream on the new platform, which will replace and enhance the UFC’s current digital home at UFC.tv.
The as-yet-unnamed network will allow the promotion to hold international fight cards in prime time in those local markets while keeping the content accessible to fight fans around the globe at times when television partners might decline to air live programming. The Singapore event, for instance, kicks off at 7:30 p.m. local time, 6:30 a.m. ET.
International versions of The Ultimate Fighter, the company’s long-running reality competition series, also are expected to be available on the digital network. Historical fight footage and live fight-week fan and media events also will be streamed.
This will obviously be a great service for the MMA fans who are looking to watch all of the fights as they air, so it will be a worthwhile investment if you just can’t get enough of mixed martial arts.
There has not yet been a price tag set on the digital network, but we should learn more information in a few weeks.
Are you interested in the UFC’s digital network and how much would you be willing to pay? Sound off in the comments section below and share your thoughts.