Since signing a major network deal with FOX, Fuel TV has been making the transition into the UFC channel, featuring weigh-ins, UFC Primetime, Best of Pride, preliminary fights and much, much more.
Starting next week, Fuel TV will become a "must-have" channel for all UFC fans.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will be making it's official event debut on Fuel TV this upcoming Wednesday night (February 15, 2012) with UFC on Fuel TV: "Sanchez vs. Ellenberger," from Omaha, Nebraska.
In advance of the big event, George Greenberg, the Vice President of Fuel TV, participated in a special media conference call earlier today to field questions about ratings, the channel and plans for the future between UFC and Fuel TV.
We've got some select quotes from Mr. Greenberg, including his thoughts and expectations after the jump.
On changes for Fuel TV
"We've changed the demographic base from 12-34 and moved on to 18-49. We're gonna broadcast over 2,000 hours in 2012 and the following year could see as much as 2,500 hours of UFC-themed broadcasts."
On ratings and expectations
"We've had an 80 percent increase in the target demographic of men ages 18-49, and a near 230 percent increase in overall primetime ratings from past ratings periods. To say I'm jacked would be putting it mildly."
On why they're holding the event mid-week
"This worked best for the UFC as far as scheduling fights. For us, the night of the week really doesn't matter. We've got a preview with an additional 8 million cable homes plugged in. This is our coming-out party."
On gaining new subscribers
"When contracts come up, that's when deals are renegotiated. With an additional 8 million homes next week, we're going to be able to reach 43 million people."
On how UFC fans can help
"If UFC fans unite...you can make a huge impression on your satellite or cable provider. It's gonna get easier as time goes on. I realize it's frustrating because of all the quality events that are out there right now...In all the sports I've been around, I haven't seen a more loyal, more passionate fan base than UFC fans."
On comparisons to Spike TV
"If you want to compare it to a platform like Spike three times our size, I can't help that. But I can tell you, If you look at the FOX ratings and last FX ratings for the fight, and you look at what it's done to this place percentage-wise, we are absolutely killing it."
Are you one of the lucky eight million people who will be receiving the free preview week of Fuel TV? What do you think of the UFC's foray into Fuel thus far?