When the UFC struck its landmark
rights deal with Fox late last year, perhaps
the biggest benefactor was small
cable network Fuel TV. Up until that
point, the little-known sports network
had almost exclusively focused
on extreme sports such as BMX, surfing,
skateboarding and the like.
So it comes as no surprise that the spotlight is now shining directly
on George Greenberg. With Fox and FX already established, Greenberg
has a chance to turn his network into the go-to destination for
UFC fans. For the first two fights that Fox has aired, Fuel TV took
the bulk of pre- and post-fight coverage.
Greenberg will have to prove that his network can handle—and thrive
on—the 2,000 hours of UFC programming he promised to air back in
November. Fox is toying with the idea of a national sports network;
much like NBC did in remaking Versus into NBC Sports Network, Fox’s
will likely come from rebranding one of its existing channels.