Some more details and rumors have come out about the UFC's landmark network TV debut on November 12. That night, the company will be opposing the Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez event from HBO pay-per-view...but only for an hour. From the Las Vegas Sun:
The UFC on FOX card begins at 6 p.m. [Pacific] and will feature two fights. It will last one hour and be completed before the start of Pacquiao's bout.
"We’ll be out of there before Pacquiao even walks to the ring," Fertitta said. "This is going to be a perfect night for any fight fan. Get together with your friends, watch two big fights in the UFC and then change the channel to ride into the Pacquiao pay-per-view."
One thing I'm quickly growing tired of hearing is how "any fight fan" should be happy with this. I watch entire boxing events. I know that might sound caaa-raaaazy, but I do. And I care what happens in every fight, too. I don't personally want fight cards to ever overlap. I hate it when HBO and Showtime wind up doing it with just boxing, I hate it when MMA cards are on at the same time as boxing cards (this isn't frequent), and I hate that it'll happen here. I'd love to see the UFC debut on Fox. I'm not going to, though, because they're purposely putting on a weird, two-fight show hoping to snag a few eyeballs on a big combat sports night. That might be good business. It also might not be. We'll have to find out, because it's a new situation.
I'm also curious as to how many people who watch fight cards at bars will find themselves screaming at the people in charge of the TV remotes about what they're supposed to be watching. "NOT UFC. NOT UFC. IT'S BOXING. IT'S ON PAY-PER-VIEW. NOT UFC." Then the UFC will stay on for an hour, and then they'll go, "IT'S BOXING. LIKE I SAID EARLIER. IT'S ON ANOTHER CHANNEL."
In other UFC on Fox news, the show is likely to be held at Anaheim's Honda Center, and it looks like one of the great favorites of both MMA and boxing audiences could be involved in the broadcasts, as MMA HEAT's Karyn Bryant talked to Fox's Eric Shanks, who said Gus Johnson could be involved in pre/post-fight coverage:
I wish any of us could convince Fox that Johnson is just not well-liked among the combat sports fanbases, but they're only going to rely on Gus' overall popularity. Thanks a ton, football and college basketball bloggers.
This is all quite a story, and something I'm interested in both as a fan of MMA and a fan of boxing. If UFC is successful on Fox, I do think that that can help boxing get a foot back in with network TV, maybe with CBS, where there have been some flirtations. So honestly, even if you don't like MMA, root for UFC to do well here. It really can only help boxing if all goes well for them, even though they're starting off with a mini-stab at a boxing event.