|07-26-2003, 12:05 PM||#1|
New look for the UFC
Zuffa, LLC Announces a New Look and Format to its
Ultimate Fighting Championship Pay-Per-View Programming
LAS VEGAS, NV,….The Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-view sports programming, that began as an ‘over the top’, no holds barred spectacle ten years ago, is overhauling its production. The on-air presentation will better reflect the significant changes Zuffa, LLC has made to this evolving sport as well as a newly acquired legitimacy and respect in the sports world.
“We listened to sports media experts, the analysts and handicappers who were telling us some of the over-the-top spectacle was preventing us from being taken seriously. Often the mainstream press didn’t understand who we were and the seriousness of the sport of Mixed Martial Arts,” said Dana White, the president of the U.S.’ premier Mixed Martial Arts sports association.
“The production values of the past got us attention and put us on the map with fight fans from all walks of life. But, the larger audiences of football, hockey and even boxing fans were a bit confused by it and told us they found it somewhat distracting. They weren’t used to the pyrotechnics and the elaborate entrances. They said it reminded them of pro wrestling, which is not at all what we’re about. MMA under the UFC brand is an intense, aggressive, real combat sport that is the most thrilling and entertaining sport you can watch. However, we realized the entertainment value comes from the raw power and real skill within the Octagon, not the theatrics outside it.”
The Ultimate Fighting Championship, nearing the three-year mark under new ownership, cited a tradition of high production values that will remain unchanged. Specific changes will also be implemented to enhance the on-air graphics presentation as well. (These will be updated variations of broadcast sports programming elements currently in use such as logo animations, elevators, wipes and dynamic roll-ins all of which are contemporary elements in use today by other sanctioned sports.)
“These changes will enhance the viewers’ overall experience and better satiate their growing appetite for extreme, edgy, high-risk sports by providing an undiluted presentation of the action as well as a better understanding of the fighters, complexities
of the disciplines and the historical roots of this extraordinary combat sport,” said Steve Tornabene, vice president of production for UFC’s televised and home video/DVD products. “The new look will make the seriousness of the sport more evident by stripping away some of the spectacle of the past. HBO boxing is a gold standard of combat sports programming and has provided some of the inspiration for these changes,” he added.
The new look will debut live on pay-per-view at UFC 44: Undisputed live from Las Vegas at 10 p.m. EDT on Friday, September 26. That bout features an historical main event between two light heavy weight champions, Tito “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Ortiz and Randy “The Natural” Couture. The fight, billed as “Champion versus Champion,” will be a first in UFC history, pitting two concurrent titleholders to determine who will be the undisputed champion in that weight class.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship, headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., is the world’s premier mixed martial arts sports association. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, the UFC programs six live pay-per-view events yearly through cable and satellite providers. In addition to its U.S. distribution on iNDemand, DirecTV, Dish Network, TVN, EchoStar, Bell ExpressVu and Viewers Choice Canada, UFC events are distributed internationally through WOWOW, Inc. in Japan, Globosat in Brazil, Main Event Television in Australia and Sky Network Television in New Zealand. Zuffa, LLC licenses the distribution of UFC video games through Crave Entertainment and TDK Mediactive.
The UFC’s next live PPV event will be UFC 44: Undisputed at 10 p.m. EDT on Friday, September 26, from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev. Locate the UFC on the internet at www.ufc.tv
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