UFC fans should expect big changes in how and where they get their content on various FOX platforms. According to a report by the Sports Business Journal's John Ourand, FOX is planning a number of changes to its channels and what content they carry.
First, FX is expected to exit the sports business entirely. The channel has not only carried UFC events, but college football as well. This change is expected for August. However, it's not clear whether 'The Ultimate Fighter', which currently airs on FX but can be viewed as entertainment programming, is moving and where it could potentially move to.
Second, Speed and FUEL will be rebranded FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2, respectively. According to previous reports late last year, Speed is to be rebranded as an all-sports network with live events and news in an attempt to compete with ESPN. The Sports Business Journal's report Monday indicates FOX filed a trademark application for a FOX Sport 2 logo with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in November of 2012.
While both will become all-sports networks, marquee programming is expected to first broadcast through FOX Sports 1. The changes to these channels are expected to kick off also around August, but no formal announcements have been made by FOX.
UFC content will continue to air on the various FOX Sports platforms, but the details of where and when are unknown at this time.
Fuel is currently in 37.6 million television homes while Speed is in 81 million homes. The report indicates FOX has had difficulty growing channels with niche brands and the rebranding is part of a larger effort to increase the audence by broadening the content offered.