The Versus Network, the former TV home of the WEC and have also played host to a number of UFC events over the past couple of years is set to be rebranded as ‘NBC Sports Netwok’ in 2012.
The switch will come on January 2nd of next year and NBC bosses are hoping that being more clearly aligned with one of the most recognisable brands in television will have a positive effect on ratings and subscriptions while also boosting advertising revenue.
For MMA fans this is an interesting development as the UFC are currently shopping for a new television home with their current deal on Spike TV about to come to an end at the turn of the year.
Meanwhile the UFC’s current deal to air several live events, including the upcoming ‘UFC On Versus 5’ and ‘UFC On Versus 6’ events, ends at the same time so there’s now a big question mark over whether they will look to renew that deal and become apart of the NBC revolution, or whether either party may be looking to cut free from the other.
So far the promotion’s ratings on Versus have actually been notably less than those on Spike, generally pulling in the mid-high hundreds of thousands rather than the 1-2million that’s become fairly standard from their longer-term TV home.
the NBC rebrand does bring with it higher ratings then this may well prove to be a tempting option for the UFC however, and the chance to align themselves with such a big name network may also appeal as the sport continues to push for mainstream acceptance.