The UFC appear to be stepping up their promotional game in the second half of 2013 and that now includes unleashing a trio ‘Primetime’ specials for their last three pay-per-view events of the year.
That’s the word from UFC HQ according to MMAjunkie.com who report that the specials are likely to air on FOX Sports 1.
The ‘Primetime’ shows will focus on three of the biggest bout of the year at UFC 166, UFC 167 and UFC 168 including Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos’ heavyweight trilogy fight, Georges St.Pierre’s latest title defense against Johny Hendricks, and the middleweight rematch between Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva.
The ‘Primetime’ specials, which take an in-depth look at the fighters home life and training camps in the weeks leading up to their fights, are expensive to make and so only usually surface around the biggest match-ups the UFC has in the pipeline. All three on this occasion certainly fit the bill and assumiung all the fighters in question remain injury free then this is shaping up to be a particularly strong way to end the year and could produce bumper pay-per-view buy rate numbers.
News of the ‘Primetime’ specials comes just a day after the UFC also announced that they were doing a whistle-stop promotional tour of five different countries to help drum up interest in the big events they have coming up in the remainder of 2013.
It all sounds exciting on paper. However, a question that remains is what kind of ratings FOX Sports 1 is going to be able to deliver for these ‘Primetime’ shows.
In it’s heyday the specials were able to reach as many as a million+ viewers on Spike TV which helped generate a noticeable buzz, but the ratings dropped significantly after moving to FX. With FOX Sports 1 having to build it’s audience from scratch when it launches next month it remains to be seen if it’ll be able to reach as many viewers as the UFC would ideally like them to in order to help move the PPV buy rate needle.