Behind the Broadcast: FOX Sports pulling no punches with its first UFC show

The day has finally arrived for all you fans of mixed martial arts.

Tonight at 9, FOX Sports


The day has finally arrived for all you fans of mixed martial arts.

Tonight at 9, FOX Sports gives Ultimate Fighting Championship the prime-time exposure that will make it a mainstream sport. FOX Sports televises the UFC heavyweight title bout between defending champion Cain Velasquez and No. 1 contender Junior dos Santos.

It’s the first UFC bout on network television. I’m not a big fan of the UFC, mainly because I don’t quite get it. But I will admit that it’s more ignorance on my part than anything else. I have never really given the sport the time of day.

Earlier this year, UFC fans were thrilled when FOX Sports signed a seven-year deal to carry the bouts on the network and its other channels like FUEL. FOX Sports Media Group chairman David Hill understands their excitement.

“What boxing was to my generation is what the UFC is to my son’s,” Hill said on a conference call Wednesday. “I firmly believe that, in the period of this contract, the dreams that [UFC president] Dana White and [UFC CEO] Lorenzo Fertitta had for this sport are going to be fully realized. In seven years, I believe boxing is going to be even more of a niche than it is, and UFC will become mainstream.”

White wants the UFC to become like boxing was before the era of cable TV and pay-per-view title bouts.

“When I was growing up, I used to watch ABC for the big fights, and then on USA network when I was a little older,” White said. “After the pay-per-view model, they never put big fights on free TV. We’re not only bringing big fights back to television, we’re bringing the heavyweight championship of the world. It’s about the heavyweight championship of the world, just like Ali vs. Frazier and all the big fights from back in the glory days of boxing. We went with Cain vs. JDS because it’s going to be very exciting.”

The bout will be seen in the Capital Region on FOX23 and FOX23 HD.

ratings news

Top-ranked LSU’s 9-6 overtime victory over No. 2 Alabama in SEC football action last Saturday night earned CBS Sports an average overnight rating/share of 11.9/21, the network said Sunday.

That rating is up a whopping 170 percent from last year’s game, which was played in the late afternoon. That game got a 4.4/10. Alabama was ranked fifth, and LSU 12th.

The game also was up 153 percent from CBS Sports’ SEC prime time game on Oct. 1 (Alabama at Florida). That earned a 4.7/9.

The LSU-Alabama game earned the second-highest rating for a regular-season college football game (excluding bowl games) on CBS in the metered markets since September 1987. That’s as far back as CBS records go.

It trailed only CBS’s 14.5/26 for Notre Dame vs. Miami (11/25/89).

Football schedules

Here are the college football games and NFL games that will be televised over the next several days.

The game schedule will also include Internet broadcasts on Most ESPN and ESPN2 games will be on

Announcers, in order of play-by-play, analyst and sideline reporters, are in parentheses. Announcing pairings and game broadcasts are subject to change.



CBS6 and CBS6 HD — Buffalo at Dallas,

1 p.m. (Jim Nantz/Phil Simms).

FOX23 and FOX23 HD — Arizona at Phil­adelphia, 1 p.m. (Dick Stockton/John Lynch/Jennifer Hale); N.Y. Giants at San Francisco, 4:15 p.m. (Joe Buck/Troy Aikman/Pam Oliver).

NBC13 and NBC13 HD — New England at N.Y. Jets, 8:20 p.m. (Al Michaels/Cris Collinsworth/Michele Tafoya).


ESPN and ESPN HD — Minnesota at Green Bay, 8:30 p.m. (Mike Tirico/Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski).


NFL Network and NFL HD — N.Y. Jets at Denver, 8:20 p.m. (Brad Nessler/Mike Mayock/Alex Flanagan).

College Football


Time Warner Cable Sports-3 and TWCS-3 HD — Pittsburgh at Louisville, noon (Mike Gleason/John Congemi/Eamon McAnaney).

CBS6 and CBS6 HD — Florida at South Carolina, noon (Tim Brando/Spencer Tillman/Lewis Johnson); Auburn at Georgia, 3:30 p.m. (Verne Lundquist/Gary Danielson/Tracy Wolfson).

ABC10 and ABC10 HD — Oklahoma State at Texas Tech, noon (Bob Wischusen/Bob Davie); Michigan at Illinois, 3:30 p.m. (Mike Patrick/Craig James); Oregon at Stanford, 8 p.m. (Brent Musburger/Kirk Herbstreit/Erin Andrews).

ESPN and ESPN HD — Nebraska at Penn State, noon (Dave Pasch/Chris Spielman and Urban Meyer/Tom Rinaldi); Miami at Florida State, 3:30 p.m. (Sean McDonough/Matt Millen/Heather Cox); Alabama at Mississippi State, 7:45 p.m. (Brad Nessler/Todd Blackledge/Holly Rowe).

ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD — Michigan State at Iowa, noon (Beth Mowins/Mike Bellotti); Tennessee at Arkansas, 6 p.m. (Mark Jones/Ed Cunningham/Jeannine Edwards); Idaho at Brigham Young, 9:15 p.m. (Dave Lamont/analyst TBA).

FX and FX HD — Texas at Missouri, noon (Craig Bolerjack/Joel Klatt/Petros Papa­dakis); Washington at Southern California, 3:40 p.m. (Gus Johnson/Charles Davis/Tim Brewster).

MSG and MSG HD — Kentucky at Vanderbilt, noon (Dave Neal/Andre Ware/Cara Capuano); Navy at Southern Methodist, 3:30 p.m. (Ron Thulin/JC Pearson/Jeremy Bloom).

MSG Plus and MSG Plus HD — Marshall at Tulsa, noon (Bill Land/Dave Lapham/Emily Jones).

Versus and Versus HD — Penn at Harvard, noon (Randy Moss/Ross Tucker/Carolyn Manno); Texas Christian at Boise State, 3:30 p.m. (Paul Burmeister/Shaun King/Anthony Herron); Arizona State at Washington State, 10:30 p.m. (Ted Robinson/Glenn Parker/Akbar Gbaja-Biamila).

YES and YES HD — Yale at Princeton, noon (Chris Shearn/Ross Tucker and Jack Ford).

ESPNU and ESPNU HD — Wake Forest at Clemson, noon (Rob Stone/Danny Kanell); Western Kentucky at LSU, 7 p.m. (Clay Matvick/Brian Griese/Allison Williams); Hawaii at Nevada, 10:15 p.m. (Adam Amin/David Diaz-Infante).

Big Ten Network and BTN HD — Ohio State at Purdue, noon (Tom Hart/Derek Rackley/Lisa Byington); Wisconsin at Minnesota, 3:30 p.m. (Eric Collins/Chris Martin/Dionne Miller).

ESPN3 — West Virginia at Cincinnati, noon (Mark Neely/Ray Bentley); North Texas at Troy, 1 p.m. (announcers TBA); Kent State at Akron, 2 p.m. (announcers TBA); Louisiana Lafayette at Arkansas State,

3 p.m. (Dave Weekley/Drew Henson); Duke at Virginia, 3 p.m. (Rich Waltz/Keith Jones/Jenn Hildreth); San Jose State at Utah State, 3 p.m. (Mychal Clanton/Kevin White/Brooks Hansen); Texas A&M at Kansas State, 3:30 p.m. (Carter Blackburn/Brock Huard); Louisiana Tech at Mississippi,

7:30 p.m. (announcers TBA); Fresno State at New Mexico State, 8 p.m. (Robert Kekaula/Darren Hernandez).

MY4 and MY4 HD — North Carolina State at Boston College, 12:30 p.m. (Tim Brant/Dave Archer/Mike Hogewood).

CBS Sports Network and CBSN HD — Rutgers vs. Army, 3:30 p.m. (Gary Thorne/Randy Cross/Kaylee Hartung); Central Florida at Southern Mississippi, 8 p.m. (James Bates/Rich Rodriguez/Brooke Collins).

NBC13 and NBC13 HD — Notre Dame vs. Maryland, 7:30 p.m. (Tom Hammond/Mike Mayock/Alex Flanagan).


ESPN and ESPN HD — Game TBA, 8 p.m.

ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD — Game TBA,

8 p.m.


ESPN and ESPN HD — North Carolina at Virginia Tech, 8 p.m. (Rece Davis/Craig James and Jesse Palmer/Jenn Brown).

MSG and MSG HD — Marshall at Memphis, 8 p.m. (announcers TBA).


ESPN and ESPN HD — Oklahoma State at Iowa State, 8 p.m. (Joe Tessitore/Rod Gilmore).

ESPNU and ESPNU HD — Toledo at Central Michigan, 8 p.m. (announcers TBA).

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