While there was no mention of The Ultimate Fighter during the grand unveiling of FOX Sports 1 earlier this week, it appears that there is still a chance that the long running reality show could yet move there from it’s current home on FX according to UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta.
“I don’t know where it will end up,” Fertitta admits in an interview with MMAFighting. “I know we’ve had a tremendous amount of success on FX this year. I’m sure the guys from FOX Sports 1 in launching a channel would love to have that programming, but ultimately it’s up to the FOX family to figure out who wins that grappling match as far as where The Ultimate Fighter is going to end up.”
Fertitta went on to make a case for why having TUF on FS1 along with the rest of the UFC’s programming could be a positive move.
“I think it’s going to be important that we have one place and destination that we can call home. Part of the transition is that we went from having one place to call home in Spike over to the FOX family was that we were on multiple networks. At times, it was difficult for our fan base to follow us and figure out where they could actually see the fights, so going forward to this August when the network launches, there will be no question you’re going to tune in to FOX Sports 1 on Wednesday nights, get all your UFC information, a lot of live fights, and if anything’s going on, you know you’re going to go to that channel.”
To an extent he’s correct, but while it’s a good idea not to spread the product too thinly, I still feel it would be in the UFC’s best interests to have TUF on FX where it’s able to tap into a different audience than is going to be watching on a dedicated sports channel.
As he says though, it’s not really down to the UFC to decide and the fact that TUF hasn’t exactly set FX on fire on the ratings front even in it’s new Tuesday night spot could be the biggest factor in deciding whether it stays or not.