The UFC is quietly contemplating a change to move up the start times of its pay-per-view broadcasts one hour, MMA Fighting has learned.
No final decision has yet been made, though a source in the organization confirmed to MMA Fighting that they are "considering the move for all events."
Two sources confirmed that at least one date will definitely be impacted. The change will be in play for the first time at April's massive UFC 129
event in Toronto, which will take place on April 30. On that night, the pay-per-view telecast will begin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, one hour ahead of its usual time.
At least part of the idea, according to sources, is to take advantage of the earlier time to attract more east coast viewers going forward.
The rationale for the decision makes sense statistically. Nearly half of the United States' population of 300 million people are located in the eastern time zone. In addition, major Canadian MMA markets in Toronto and Montreal are among six of the 10 most populated cities in Canada that call the eastern time zone home.
Though not implied by either source, an earlier start time might also open the door for further coverage of events from television and print news media restricted by deadlines.
Under Zuffa ownership, UFC pay-per-view events have historically been aired at 10 p.m., though a handful of international events including UFC 72 and UFC 80 were broadcast live in the afternoon before a 10 p.m. replay.
March 19's UFC 128 event emanating from Newark, N.J., is still scheduled to air at 10 p.m.