Earlier in the week we brought you news that Five USA, the UK station airing the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 show, were not going to be showing the finale live on Saturday night. Instead they will be showing the event some four days later on Thursday evening.
UK fans immediately sought the help of the UFC’s Dana White and UK head Marshall Zelaznik who quickly found an alternative solution with ESPN UK now stepping in to cover the event live.
Fightofthenight.com contacted Five USA several days ago to ensure that they were aware of fans disappointment at the turn of events, and to get clarification on why they were not showing the event live either on Five USA, or the main Five channel.
They have since got back to us with the following response.
Unfortunately, we are not in a position to transmit live coverage of the Series 10 finale tomorrow, 5th December. As you may be aware, the event is due to start in Las Vegas at 15:55 local time and Five USA ceases transmission at 01:00 GMT. This means that a live programme would only have been broadcast for approximately one hour.
The terms of our contract require the programme to be broadcast on Five USA and we are therefore unable to transmit the finale live on Five.
Nevertheless, your disappointment that our coverage will be delayed has been noted in our Viewer Enquiries Report. This is circulated throughout the company and will be seen by all relevant personnel.
So it appears their hands were tied in this matter as had suggested earlier in the weeek. At the same time I still feel it is an oversight on their part to leave their viewers waiting until Thursday evening to see coverage of the event.
ESPN UK also have to be commended for seizing the opportunity to step in and air the event live in the United Kingdom live on Saturday night from 2 a.m.