The war between Viacom and Fox is on.
Announced Tuesday, Spike TV will debut "The Ultimate Fighter Fridays" on March 2nd, 2012, in an effort to counter-program FX's "The Ultimate Fighter."
The broadcast kicks off at 9 p.m. ET/PT, is slated for three-hours every Friday, and will serve as a "best of" for the seven-year, fourteen-season series. In addition, special fan-driven editions of "The Ultimate Fighter Fridays" are in the works that will ask for input from fans via social media.
"The Ultimate Fighter" is scheduled to make its FX-debut on March 9th as part of the UFC's landmark deal with Fox. Among the changes to the show is a switch from Wednesday to Friday night, live fights decided by fan-voting, and a championship coaches match to cap the season. Top-ranked bantamweights Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber are slated to train two teams of lightweight and welterweight hopefuls.
Spike TV has made several similar decisions to counter-program in the past, most notably counter-programming UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos with a special UFC Unleashed marathon titled "Dos Santos vs. Velasquez: Unleashed for the Heavyweight Title" on November 12th. The broadcast earned 800,000 viewers. Similar plans are in development for January 28th's UFC on Fox 2 telecast.