On October 1, Showtime will launch a new channel called Showsports 4, which will show fight leagues and crash sports.
By introducing the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the world's mixed martial arts sports association, Showtime hopes to strengthen its fighting league line-up to complement its WWE broadcast.
Ultimate Fighting is defined as a mixed martial arts competition between high level professional fighters who utilise the disciplines of jiu-jitsu, karate, boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, and other forms in UFC live events. UFC competitors or 'Ultimate Fighters' are among the best-trained and conditioned athletes in the world. While this is a highly intense sport, fighter safety is of paramount concern and it is noteworthy that no competitor has ever been seriously injured in a UFC event.
"Spectacular sports entertainment shows are a global phenomenon, with the success of WWE being the best evidence of this," stated Andy Warkman, head of Sports.
"Fight sports and, in particular, UFC brings the best athletes, many of whom are World champions together in an adrenalin-packed format that will be unique to this region and Showtime. Our ability to provide another sports channel extends an already exhaustive offering to include boxing, motor sports, additional WWE (Heat, Bottom Line and ECW) and even more live coverage again," said Warkman.
In addition to the fights and the Pay Per View events, Showtime has signed an eight-season deal for the Ultimate Fighter series, a reality show where fighters that have yet to make a name for themselves compete with each other for the title of Ultimate Fighter and a six figure, multi-fight contract with the UFC.