UFC Counter Programming Not Effective Agianst CBS

Tony PrestonCorrespondent IOctober 22, 2009

The UFC and Spike have announced plans to counter program the Strikeforce broadcast on CBS. While I understand the the UFC wanting to do this their counter programming has not been effective against network broadcasts.

When Affliction held their first pay per view the UFC countered with a live event on Spike, this made sense because countering a pay per view card with a free one would cause people to reconsider paying to watch fights when they could see free fights on Spike.

Then when Elite XC started to hold cards on CBS the UFC counter programmed with a replay of a previous pay per view and that has been what they have done to other Elite XC offerings and now Strikeforce on Showtime. While Show time is a premium network and Spike is basic cable which makes it easier for people to watch Spike.

For Stirkeforce's first offering on CBS they are not using a headliner such as Kimbo Slice they are having Fedor fight. This should bring in many of the hardcore fans who passed on watching Slice fight on CBS and for the casual fans Slice brought in there is a middleweight title fight between Jason "Mayhem" Miller and Jake Shields. Miller is well known to the casual fans due to his show Bully Beatdown on MTV on which Shields has been the guest MMA fighter.

The UFC is countering with a new program called Main Events which will feature the main events from UFC 101, 102, and 103 as well as the Anderson Silva against Forrest Griffin co-main event from UFC 101. I do not see how replaying fights that most fans have already seen is going to help the UFC here. There are going to be live fights for free on network TV. The only viewers that will tune into the Spike broadcast are the fans that only like the UFC.