You may remember that the UFC and Spike are in a weird situation where Spike is contractually restricted to showing UFC library footage through 2012 rather than the Bellator stuff they’d rather be featuring. This kinda peeves Spike off, so in an attempt to make the UFC rue the decision, they’re counter-programming UFC events at every turn.
This is straight out of the UFC’s own playbook, but unfortunately for Spike it doesn’t really end up having the same effect. Joe Six Pack flips through the channels and sees the UFC and some other promotion and they’re liable to watch the UFC, even if it’s just a PPV repeat versus a live broadcast. But when Spike runs a marathon of UFC programming on the same day as a new Versus or FOX broadcast … well, it just means a full day of UFC watchin’ for fans.
After having experienced the joys of being able to channel surf between UFC programming during commercials, I’ve actually gotten to really enjoy Spike’s attempt to steal away viewers. Maybe they get some dumb yokels watching their Unleashed shit while live stuff plays a few channels up. But overall it’s just more exposure for the UFC and it’s fighters. If anything, it’s helping the UFC, not hurting it.
So I kinda LOL reading the news that Spike now plans to run ‘Ultimate Fighter Fridays’ against the new live Ultimate Fighter on FX. Especially when you consider the fact that Spike’s future MMA girlfriend Bellator will be running on MTV2 the same evening. If Spike thinks it’s hurting the UFC by airing more UFC content, they’re pretty stupid. In the end they’re doing nothing more than promoting their own competition.