Thursday Night Fights anybody?
While it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, it is a possibility according to a Buzzfeed report that Twitter is eyeing UFC to replace the NFL for Thursday night live broadcasts on the social media platform.
Twitter is looking to expand their live video offerings significantly and, after losing the NFL Thursday night streaming rights to Amazon, they have suggested putting UFC fights in that slot.
“We have a really big audience when there’s a pay-per-view UFC match,” Twitter COO and CFO Anthony Noto told Buzzfeed. “Should we provide that content to the audience on Twitter that’s not watching it, but might like to after seeing tweets about it? That’s something we’d consider.”
Twitter paid a reported $10 million to the NFL for the rights to simulcast the Thursday night games so, with that figure in mind, a small fraction of that could be enough to secure UFC rights and bring a loyal and engaged audience with it. Twitter is apparently looking to increase their live video offerings to be around the clock, so securing attractive content is important.
UFC is open to using social media as a broadcast platform though as, prior to Fight Pass, UFC aired early preliminary fights on Facebook well before Facebook Live was a thing.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: This is an interesting idea and could expose UFC to a broad audience that doesn’t use cable or aren’t going to subscribe to UFC Fight Pass. Of course, Fox holds UFC’s exclusive TV rights in the U.S. and may have some say over streaming rights to UFC programming. UFC also has their own streaming service and may not want to create confusion by adding another platform on top of the multiple Fox channels and Fight Pass in order to find fights. If the money’s right, I’m sure UFC will put some cards on Twitter. UFC usually runs on weekends and may have trouble filling houses on a Thursday but they did run weekday shows in the Spike era, usually from smaller venues from Las Vegas. I could see UFC putting on shorter fight cards in smaller venues with lower marquee value fights for Twitter.
THURSDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-UFC Fight Pass will be airing Saturday’s Glory SuperFight Series event for free without needing a credit card to sign up. The event begins Saturday a 1 p.m. ET featuring a main event of Richard Abraham vs. Jamie Bates.
–Combate is reporting that Renan Barao is planning on a return to bantamweight after a two-fight stint at featherweight.
-Daniel Cormier urged Jon Jones to take a July 29 fight with him last night on UFC Tonight. “Take the fight with me, Jon Jones,” Cormier said. “There’re no tune-up fights in the UFC. If you’re a guy that has dominated the division as he has, why not come back and try to get your title? Come meet your boy, D.C., come get this money.”
-UFC announced that the UFC 216 event will take place on Sept. 9 from Edmonton, Alberta.
-Bellator fighter Marcos Galvao told MMA Fighting that someone broke into his New York home while he was on vacation in Brazil and stole money he had saved from his fights. A GoFundMe page has been started and has raised over $26,000.
FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENT ROUNDUP
-Omari Akhmedov vs. Abdul Razak Alhassan at UFC Fight Night Stockholm on May 28.
-Luan Chagas vs. Jim Wallhead at UFC 212 on June 3 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
-Patricky Freire vs. Derek Campos at Bellator 181 on July 14 from Thackerville, Oklahoma.
Marcos Galvao vs. Joe Warren from Bellator 135 in March 2015. (SOURCE)
(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)