Report: FX Channel dumps sports programming, FUEL TV to become 'FOX Sports 2'

Victor Decolongon

Round and round FOX goes. Where UFC ends up, nobody knows.

Well ... this is interesting.

Mixed martial arts (MMA) fans might be saying goodbye to the UFC on FX branded show, as the cable television network is dumping sports programming altogether, according to a report from Sports Media Watch (via Sports Business Journal).

Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 will be the chief outlets for News Corp. sports programming. FX, which aired college football coverage the past two seasons and previously televised baseball and NASCAR, will no longer carry sporting events.

In addition, FUEL TV will be re-branded as "FOX Sports 2," but how that affects its current programming arrangement with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) remains to be seen. It could all depend on how the world's leading combat sports promotion is defined under the "sports" heading.

News Corporation will convert the Fuel cable network into general sports channel ‘Fox Sports 2′ this August. The launch of Fox Sports 2 will coincide with the conversion of Speed Channel to Fox Sports 1. Currently, Fuel is in 37.6 million television homes - over 43 million fewer than Speed Channel (81.0M). Fox Soccer (42.3M) is actually in more homes than Fuel.

The changeover is expected to happen as early as this summer.

Representatives from UFC and FX/FUEL have yet to release statements on how they will juggle their current line up of MMA programming, which this writer imagines will be a lateral move under the re-worked banners. ZUFFA already has three FUEL TV events booked through April 6, 2013.

Stay tuned.

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