By Gifford Lee
Fox Sports is encouraging pubs across Australia to promote tomorrow as a super Saturday from morning till night, with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (pictured) and the major football codes all airing live throughout the day.
For the first time in its history, the pay television broadcaster will showcase a live UFC event for no extra charge on its standard Fox Sports channels package and not as a Pay Per View event. Fox Sports’ action entertainment channel Fuel TV will broadcast the entire Sydney UFC event from 9.30am tomorrow (Saturday AEDT) while the Fox Sports 3 channel will air the main card from 1.00pm.
Fox Sports Venues operations manager Japhy Duldig said the exclusive broadcast of the UFC event would allow pubs and clubs who subscribe to the network to market an entire day of sport, to draw the fans in and keep them.
“This gives venues the ability to show live UFC in HD to patrons as part of their normal Fox Sports package,” Duldig said.
“Venues can market it as a full UFC day and create an ability to generate revenue across the whole day.
“The UFC ties in with the start of the NRL season with league live on Fox Sports that night and there is live NAB Cup on our Fox Footy channel.”
Live Super Rugby, A-League and English Premier League all feature on the pay television network this Saturday night also.
Duldig said UFC events in the past had created a boom for venues, with record weekend takes noted in some establishments who aired the fights. Some pundits have said the UFC is the fastest growing sport in the world and it does boast a fanatical support here in Australia.
“UFC has proven to open up new markets for venues to target and then win them over as repeat customers,” he said.
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“This has a flow on effect to other revenue areas such as food and beverage and gaming and it creates a buzz so people are willing to come back for more.”
Tomorrow’s event at Sydney’s Allphones Arena is the third time the UFC organisation has brought itself Down Under. The main card features Brazilian Thiago Alves against Denmark’s Martin Kampmann in a welterweight division bout.
“The Australian events have sold out in minutes, so you can guarantee that this is going to be one of the most popular events of the year,” Gary Burns, head of Fox Sports Channels said.