NEW YORK, N.Y. (October 28, 2010)-VERSUS today announced it will expand its partnership with the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC) to feature four UFC events as part of its live programming in 2011, following the announcement that the UFC will be adding championship divisions at bantamweight and featherweight next year. VERSUS will air two remaining live WEC events this year, scheduled for November 11 and December 16, and the network’s 2011 schedule will include classic WEC fights and other taped programming.
“The WEC on VERSUS has been a hugely successful property since its launch on the network in 2007 and the addition of the two live UFC fights in 2010 really solidified VERSUS as a destination for some of the best MMA action on television,” said Jamie Davis, President of VERSUS. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the UFC and take our relationship to the next level.”
The UFC began its relationship with VERSUS in 2010, marking the first time that live UFC events aired on a national sports cable network. VERSUS’ two UFC fights this year, both featuring Pay-Per-View quality cards, averaged more than 1.1 million viewers and made VERSUS a top cable network in the country among key male demos.
“We have a great relationship with the VERSUS network, and we look forward to working with them to give UFC fans even more free fights in 2011,” said Dana White, President of UFC.
The WEC was founded in 2001 and in 2007, announced a television deal with VERSUS, which has since televised 23 live events. The WEC on VERSUS has seen viewership growth each year since 2007 and in 2010 alone, 3.7 million viewers have so far tuned in to the five live WEC events on the network. VERSUS’ two most notable WEC fights, which featured a Urijah Faber/Jens Pulver showdown in June 2008 and championship re-match between Urijah Faber and Mike Brown in June 2009, averaged more than 1.4 million viewers and made VERSUS the top cable network in the country among all key male demos for both telecasts.
VERSUS has also featured other WEC programming, including WEC WrekCAGE, a series featuring an explosive mix of VERSUS’ best live events and the top matches from WEC events never before seen on television, as well as Best-of-Year shows and Greatest Knockouts specials.
VERSUS prides itself on super-serving passionate sports fans across all platforms (VERSUS.com, VERSUS on Demand and VERSUS HD). Now in more than 75 million homes, the network is the cable television home of the National Hockey League (NHL), IZOD IndyCar Series, Tour de France, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and Professional Bull Riders (PBR). VERSUS also airs NASCAR, NBA, UFC, college football and college basketball programming. The network is home to the best outdoor programming on television and airs original programs not available anywhere else, including The Daily Line and The T.Ocho Show. VERSUS, a wholly owned company of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK), is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.