An announcement was made Tuesday that FOX Sports 1 will debut this August as the network converts Speed TV into a new all-sports broadcast with a heavy UFC presence.
FOX Sports 1 (FS1) will likely serve as the network's answer to broadcast rivals ESPN, featuring many of the sports in their original programming line-up, including NASCAR, college football, professional baseball and many UFC shows.
The UFC will debut a new Fight Night series similar to their UFC on FX and UFC on Fuel broadcasts that will typically air on Wednesday nights from 8 to 11 p.m. ET.
According to the release from FOX, UFC Fight Night will kick off on Saturday, August 17 during the network's debut week and then the series moves to Wednesday nights. Sports Illustrated reporter Richard Deitsch was at the press conference held by FOX and provided additional details about the new UFC Fight Night schedule on FS1.
Fox Sports One will air 12 UFC "Fight Nights" on Wednesdays from Aug 17 through end of year. Bouts will air from 8PM-11PM.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) March 5, 2013
The new network will also become the home of UFC Tonight, a weekly magazine show featuring hosts Kenny Florian and Chael Sonnen that will move to FS1 from its current home on Fuel TV.
FOX Sports 1 will also be the new home for UFC on FOX and UFC pay-per-view preliminary fight broadcasts that currently air on FX.
Fourteen UFC pay-per-view preliminary shows along with the UFC on FOX preliminary fights are expected to air on the new channel starting later this year.
FOX Sports One will also carry numerous past fights and the UFC library, which contains hundreds of hours of footage and events.
One question that still remains for the new FS1 deal is the future of the The Ultimate Fighter reality show. The UFC will be moving much of their live programming to Wednesday nights, while UFC on FOX and UFC pay-per-views will stay on Saturday. The Ultimate Fighter currently airs on FX on Tuesday nights, but it's unknown at this time if the reality show will remain on FX or shift to the FS1 channel.
UFC officials said there will be more information available at a future time regarding The Ultimate Fighter when responding to Bleacher Report on Tuesday.
FOX Sports 1 will surely be in the reality show business, however, as they are developing a new series around former boxing heavyweight champion Mike Tyson titled Being Mike Tyson, and will at some point likely feature a cameo from UFC president Dana White, who recently mentioned agreeing to appear on the show.
More details about the UFC's involvement with FS1 will continue to develop over the next few months as well as the promotion's place on a planned FOX Sports 2 channel that will take over for Fuel TV.