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Every UFC Fight Will Be Televised in 2012, With FUEL Hosting 2,000 Program Hours

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fan, you're going to want to make sure you have access to the FUEL cable station. Until now though, the scope of FUEL's devotion to the UFC has been somewhat unclear.

No longer. On a Wednesday teleconference featuring executives of both FOX Sports and the UFC, it was revealed that FUEL will broadcast over 2,000 hours of UFC programming in 2012, devoting about 25 percent of their entire schedule to all things octagon.

It was just one of several details released regarding the future plans between the new partners. Among the other major revelations is that starting in January, every UFC fight that takes place anywhere around the world will be televised. In the recent past, most undercard fights have only been available online on Facebook.com.




Using the multiple platforms available, the UFC plans to broadcast most live preliminaries on FUEL before the main card begins on pay-per-view, FOX or FX, depending on the specific event. Under the terms of their deal, in 2012, FOX will broadcast four events while FX will host six.

While Saturday night's UFC on FOX: Velasquez vs. dos Santos event will only be one hour, future network television broadcasts will likely increase and feature more than one fight, according to FOX Sports co-president Eric Shanks, who said the network is leaning towards 90-minute blocks and two or three fights per broadcast.

"It's going to be an incredible night, and we just want to make sure we have the time to tell the story about this [Velasquez vs. dos Santos] fight, but going forward you can look forward to longer fight nights on FOX," he said.

White said that he was happy with the time slot and promotion, and noted that complaints about only one fight airing on Saturday night should be muted by promise of the future exposure on multiple platforms.

"We couldn't ask for anything more," he said. "This is like a dream come true. No matter how many fights it is, it's a damn good thing."

While the FOX fights will no doubt gain UFC their biggest audiences and the move to FX is expected to inject new life into The Ultimate Fighter, it seems clear that UFC executives are just as excited about being the anchor programming for FUEL. According to last estimates provided by TV By the Numbers, FUEL is currently available in just over 32 million households, less than a third the number of households that can watch FX. Yet the hope amongst both sides is that UFC programming will help the channel grow and gain wider clearance.

Aside from broadcasting prelim fights, FUEL will air all UFC shoulder programming including Countdown, Primetime, Unleashed, Best of PRIDE, The Ultimate Insider and more.

Asked if the proliferation of UFC programming on the channel would eventually result in it being rebranded as the "UFC channel," White said he was pulling for the possibility. FOX Sports Media Group chairman David Hill said that while FUEL's target demographic would change slightly with the explosion of UFC programming, it would maintain its current name.