Today the UFC and Fox Sports held a joint press call to discuss this Saturday's UFC on Fox 1 event. Today's call was attended by FOX Sports Media Group Chairman David Hill, FOX Sports Co-President Eric Shanks and FUELTV General Manager George Greenberg, UFC President Dana White and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta. We will update this StoryStream with audio momentarily.
Below is a partial transcript of what was discussed:
FOX Sports Media Group Chairman David Hill
- "I don't think there's going to be any backlash at all. It's moved from a niche to the mainstream, not just here but around the world. I'm not expecting any backlash."
- "We'll be advising America not to try this at home."
- "We fully believe as TV evolves, that is has to be a multi-platform thing...there's no guidebook for what we're doing. We're ad libbing our way through. It looks like a pretty good tapestry to me."
- "Never say a word about ratings. We're looking for good ratings."
- "We'll look at all demos, male vs. female, total households. In terms of tv and sports, this is a watershed. It's never happened before. It's the first time a UFC heavyweight championship has been on TV. You never rattle the cage of the ratings gods."
- "Fuel will undergo a metamorphosis, but it will stay as Fuel TV."
FOX Sports Co-President Eric Shanks
- "We need to introduce the world to the UFC on Fuel as well...that Fuel is going to be one of the homes of the UFC as well. This is to raise awareness."
- "The outside world has been making a much bigger deal than we have. Fox has never done UFC fights before. There's no way we can come in and describe the fight with talent better than they have. What Fox can bring to the table is setting the tone right for a broadcast audience."
- "We believe the sweet spot for broadcasts is an hour and a half."
- "The day that we signed the deal I didn't know this, but every person at Fox is a UFC fan. People were high fiving me in the hall way. That place hasn't been more pumped than when we actually signed the deal."
FUELTV General Manager George Greenberg
- "We'll have more than 2,000 hour of UFC programming each year."
- "FX format will be two hours, Fuel will be three."
- "Believe me, to have 25% of our content being UFC we get to more selective with other action sports content. Target moves from 12 to 34, to 18 to 34"
UFC President Dana White
- "it's very important to be on all these various platforms...in 10 years we've never even been on a sports network and now we're on the biggest network on them all."
- "If you're a UFC fan, you can't NOT have Fuel."
- "Yes, we are ready for primetime. We're going to show it on Saturday night."
- "It's going to be about the heavyweight championship of the world. We can do all the bells and whistles around this thing, but it's about the heavyweight championship of the world."
- "There's going to be story telling, explaining on who we are, what this is, what these athletes are about. Lots of explanations, more than you would see on a typical UFC event."
- "These guys are the best at what they do in sports. We'd be crazy not to want their input into our production."
- "When this deal starts in January, every live fight will be on a Fox platform."
- "This is just another fight for these two [Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos]. I'm not worried about putting on any added pressure."
CEO Lorenzo Fertitta
- "Event will be seamless to the people in the arena. To expand from 1 hour to 2 or 3 will be easy to add."
- "We toyed around with idea [two shows on same day]. We were trying to make it all work. The production team said they could it. We thought having one event lead into another it would create buzz. We are no longer looking to do it. We challenged ourselves, but there's nothing in the plan to do that right now."