You knew it was coming.
We mentioned last week that UFC president Dana White was planning a special to counter-program EliteXC’s second outing on CBS scheduled for July 26. Well, it looks like that special will be UFC 84, arguably the best UFC event thus far in 2008. Spike TV, of course, will have the honors of broadcasting the event.
This will mark the third time the UFC has come up with programming to counter the competition’s live events. On May 31, during EliteXC’s CBS debut, Spike TV ran a special night of programming dedicated to Chuck Liddell, which drew between 1.2 and 1.6 million viewers away from EliteXC over the course of the night. Despite the strong effort, the UFC didn’t spoil EliteXC’s party, as the ‘Primetime’ event drew record ratings for a mixed martial arts event in North America.
Perhaps feeling even more threatened by the all-star lineup Affliction has put together for their debut on July 19, the UFC threw together an Ultimate Fight Night card in five weeks to counter it. That event, featuring Anderson Silva’s debut at 205lbs, will air live on Spike TV at the same time Affliction’s pay-per-view event, “Banned,” will be taking place in California.
How much of an impact UFC 84 will have on “Unifinished Business” remains to be seen, but if May 31 was any indication, its likely worth at least a million viewers.
Personally, as great as UFC 84 was, I’ve already seen it. Been there, done that. I’ll take the live event all day over the prerecorded one.