"THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER(R)" MOVES TO FOX SPORTS 1 IN SEPTEMBER
"TUF" to Anchor New Network's Wednesday Night UFC(R) Block
Season 18 to Feature First-Ever Women Coaches and Competitors
LAS VEGAS - A new network, new day and time, new coaches and new captivating storylines.
The Ultimate Fighter(R), the Ultimate Fighting Championship's(R) (UFC(R)) signature reality series, moves to FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports' newly minted multi-sport national cable channel, when it returns in September. The series, featuring UFC(R) women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and challenger Cat Zingano as coaches, also moves to Wednesday evening at 10:00 PM ET where it anchors FS1's prime time UFC programming block. FS1 launches Saturday, Aug. 17 and season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter premieres Wednesday, Sept. 4 (10:00 PM ET).
"Bringing The Ultimate Fighter to FOX Sports 1 is like adding a big bat to an exciting young lineup," said Shanks. "TUF has jump-started the careers of dozens of fighters, many who have gone on to become UFC champions. It's going to be a welcomed addition to FOX Sports 1, and the perfect anchor for our Wednesday prime time UFC block. We're absolutely thrilled to have it."
"Season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter just ended and it was the best season we've ever done," said UFC(R) President Dana White. "Season 18 is going to be historic and groundbreaking with the first-ever women coaches, and men and women training and living together, and we're excited to be airing it on the best new sports network in the country, FOX Sports 1."
Earlier this year, UFC announced that Rousey, who defeated challenger Liz Carmouche in the UFC's first women's bout during UFC(R) 157, would serve as the first-ever woman coach on the series alongside the winner of today's Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano No.1 contender fight.
Moments ago Cat Zingano defeated Miesha Tate by TKO (referee stoppage) in round 3 at The Ultimate Fighter Finale event in Las Vegas.
Together Rousey and Zingano will mentor male and female bantamweight (135 lbs) fighters - living and training together - vying for the title of The Ultimate Fighter and a six-figure contract with the UFC.
"Having the opportunity to help fighters kick off their careers - especially the women - is an amazing experience," said Rousey. "I've had the chance to be a guest on past episodes, and I felt the passion, determination and commitment these fighters bring to the sport. I can't wait to start coaching this next history-making season on this exciting new network."
The Ultimate Fighter, which debuted in 2005, has launched the careers of more than 100 UFC fighters and has produced past champions such as Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Michael Bisping and Matt Serra. Bantamweights were most recently featured on The Ultimate Fighter 14, when John Dodson emerged as the season's winner.
At launch, FOX Sports 1 is available in over 90 million homes, making this the biggest sports cable network launch in history, and one of the largest network launches ever. It boasts nearly 5,000 hours of live event, news and original programming annually. In addition to TUF 18, over the course of the year FS1's Wednesday night UFC programming includes live fight events; UFC TONIGHT, the weekly authority for UFC news and information; and the best library programs.
About FOX Sports Media Group
FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) is the umbrella entity representing News Corporation's wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets. Built with brands capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FSMG includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships. FSMG includes FOX Sports, the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; FOX Sports 1; Fox's 22 regional sports networks, their affiliated regional web sites and FSN national programming; FOX Soccer, FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Soccer 2Go; FUEL TV; FOX Deportes and FOX College Sports. In addition, FSMG also encompasses FOX Sports Digital, which includes FOXSports.com on MSN, FOX Sports GO, Whatifsports.com, FOXSportsNext.com and Yardbarker.com. Also included in the Group are Fox's interests in joint-venture businesses Big Ten Network, BTN 2Go and STATS, LLC, as well as licensing agreements that establish the FOX Sports Radio Network and FOX Sports Skybox restaurants.
About the Ultimate Fighting Championship(R)
Universally recognized for its action-packed, can't-miss events that have sold out some of the biggest arenas and stadiums across the globe, the UFC(R) is the world's premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, headquartered in Las Vegas and with offices in London, Toronto and Beijing, UFC produces more than 30 live events annually and is the largest pay-per-view event provider in the world. In 2012, the UFC burst into the mainstream with a landmark seven-year broadcast agreement with FOX Sports Media Group. The agreement includes four live events broadcast on the FOX network annually, with additional fight cards and thousands of hours of programming broadcast on FOX properties FX and FUEL TV. This also includes the longest-running sports reality show on television, The Ultimate Fighter(R), which airs on FX.
In addition to its reach on FOX, UFC programming is broadcast in over 145 countries, to nearly 800 million TV households worldwide, in 28 different languages. UFC content is also distributed commercially in the United States to bars and restaurants through Joe Hand Promotions, in English throughout Canada via Premium Sports Broadcasting Inc. and Australia via Main Event and in French throughout Quebec via Interbox. The UFC also connects with tens of millions of fans through its website, UFC.com, as well as social media sites Facebook and Twitter. UFC President Dana White is considered one of the most accessible and followed executives in sports, with nearly 2.4 million followers on Twitter. Ancillary UFC businesses include best-selling DVDs and video games, an internationally distributed magazine, UFC.TV offering live event broadcasts and video on demand around the world, a new franchise in development with EA, UFC GYM(R), UFC Fight Club affinity program, UFC Fan Expo(R) festivals, branded apparel and trading cards.