Monday, 14 March 2011

UFC NEWS: UFC 129 to air an hour earlier, likely a permanent change to pay-per-view start times [UPDATED]

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

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The UFC is considering a permanent move of their pay-per-view start times to an hour earlier, according to a report from Mike Chiappetta at MMAFighting.com.

At least one event will see the new start time, as the UFC has already confirmed a 9PM ET start to the April 30 UFC 129 event in Toronto, but according to the MMAFighting report they are also considering a permanent move from the 10PM ET time slot.

Part of the idea, per the report, is to attract more east coast viewers moving forward. Chiappetta also speculates that the earlier start time could allow for more media coverage from deadline restricted television and print news outlets.

Link to Original Source Article

Penick's Analysis: I like this move. For viewers on the east coast it will mean main events will air before midnight. The move, if made permanent for their pay-per-view events, may hurt Bellator moving forward, as with Facebook prelims and Spike TV prelims and Ion TV prelims, the UFC will likely have fights running from 7PM ET every time out. That will cut into their airtime on MTV2 even further than it will with UFC 128 this month. But for the UFC this is a good move, and I hope we'll see them make that move.

[UPDATE]: MMAJunkie.com reports that the change is expected to stay for all events following UFC 129 as well.

Source: http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/publish/UFC_2/article_8684.shtml

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