Yesterday Fox dropped a pretty hefty bomb that we were all expecting eventually of announcing a new sports network, called Fox Sports 1. Fox Sports 1 is set to make its debut on August 17th and will do so with a bang by airing a live UFC event, UFC on FS 1.
Fox Sports 1 will also take over for Fuel TV as UFC’s home on cable television, with Fox event preliminary cards, UFC Tonight and PPV preliminary cards all moving over to Fox Sports 1. They also announced Wednesday Fight Night cards, which their contract until 2014 calls for 12 fight cards. There was some excitement yesterday online due to the wording of Fox’s press release that made it seem like there would be weekly fight cards on Wednesday, but SI’s Richard Deitsch was able to confirm with Dana White that it will be more in the vein of UFC on Fuel TV cards and not weekly fight cards.
Fox Sports 1 will replace the Speed Network, which has a greater reach and market penetration than Fuel TV, with Fox Sports 1 being Fox’s national sports network, looking to compete with ESPN. The UFC will be joined on Fox Sports 1 by content from NASCAR, MLB, college sports and soccer.