Spike TV and the Ultimate Fighting Championship(R) Brand Announce Strategic Partnership for 2005 and 2006
Exclusive Deal Includes Two New Seasons of
'The Ultimate Fighter(TM),' LIVE Fights, Plus 26 UFC Specials
NEW YORK, May 3 -- Spike TV and The Ultimate Fighting
Championship(R) organization have agreed to a two-year strategic partnership,
it was announced jointly today by Doug Herzog, President, Spike TV and Dana
White, President, Zuffa, LLC d/b/a Ultimate Fighting Championship(R). The main
components of the deal are new seasons of the highly-rated reality series, The
Ultimate Fighter(TM), which will premiere Monday, August 22 at 11:00pm ET/PT.
In addition the deal includes six LIVE fight cards -- two this year and four
in '06. The announcement comes on the heels of the finale of The Ultimate
Fighter which drew 2.6 million viewers and more Men 18-34 than CBS's Masters
golf tournament coverage on Saturday, April 9.
"The UFC(R) brand is a sports entity on the rise and we are thrilled to
continue our already successful relationship with them," said Herzog. "The
passion and dedication that Dana White brings to the sport of mixed martial
arts and the brand is the driving force behind its success."
"We always knew that Spike TV would be an incredible partner to work with
and one of the best places for our product to be viewed. We were right on both
counts," noted White.
"The Ultimate Fighter is a show like none other and it found its audience
like a heat seeking missile from the beginning. It continues to beat down the
competition and we can't wait to produce the next two seasons," said Craig
Piligian, the executive producer for the show.
The Spike TV deal includes the following:
* A second and third season of the highly successful reality series, The
Ultimate Fighter. Production for Season 2 will begin in early June and
consist of eight heavyweights and eight welterweights. Celebrity coaches
and a host are to be announced. The show will once again be taped in Las
Vegas where the company maintains its UFC(R) Training Center.
* Six LIVE fight cards featuring some of the well-known names from UFC
sporting events. Two will be in '05 and four in '06.
* 26 one-hour episodes of an untitled series of great moments from the
UFC(R) vast library of fight footage.
Season #1 (13 weeks) of The Ultimate Fighter averaged a 1.7 HH rating (1.5
million) with a 2.0 (1,015,000) in M18-49 a 2.4 (604,000) in M18-34 and an
average audience of 2.1 million viewers. Forrest Griffin (light heavyweight)
and Diego Sanchez (middleweight) were The Ultimate Fighter champions for the
premiere season and each received a six-figure deal with the UFC(R)
organization. Stephan Bonnar was also awarded a contract after his epic battle
in the Finals versus Griffin. The audience peaked during the Bonnar/Griffin
fight with 3.3 million viewers.
Craig Piligian of Pilgrim Films and Television, Frank Fertitta III,
Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana Whiteof Zuffa, LLC are the show's executive
producers. Jim Burns is Senior Vice President, Sports & Specials, Spike TV and
serves as Executive in Charge of Production for Spike TV.
SOURCE Spike TV
Web Site: http://www.spiketv.com