The UFC's primary broadcast partner has landed key distribution partners prior to it's launch on August 17th with UFC Fight Night: Sonnen vs. Shogun.
Its finally happened. Despite weeks of hand wringing, Fox Sports 1 will arrive in approximately 40 million more homes this weekend when it launches as Fox Network's premiere sports channel. The L.A. Times caught hold of the story:
The three carriers -- satellite broadcasters DirecTV and Dish and cable operator Time Warner Cable -- all have agreed to carry Fox Sports 1 when it launches. Those three distributors combined reach over 40 million homes.
A Time Warner Cable spokeswoman said it would have the channel on its systems when it launches. However, final distribution contracts are still being hammered out with all three companies.
Apparently the major hurdle in negotiations revolved around Fox's pursuit of an increased rate hike from distributors from it's former Speed Channel rates. The battle to set that new price drove negotiations to the zero hour. Despite fans and subscribers fears that they would be unable to access the new channel, most industry insiders seemed confident that a deal would be struck. Turns out they were right. So we can put an end to fears that UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen won't be readily available and head to our TV sets Saturday evening comfortable in the knowledge that a solid night of fights awaits with both prelims and the main card airing on the same channel. Check back as we'll be doing event coverage all week leading up to the fights, including previews, interviews, and announcements.
*NOTE: AT&T U-Verse, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Suddenlink and Verizon FiOS are all currently signed to carry Fox Sports 1 as well. Direct TV, Dish, and Time Warner were the three notable holdouts.