/// Let it Bleed: UFC is Big Business for Fox
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has gone mainstream, and the proof is in the ad inventory. On the eve of Fox’s sixth live UFC showcase, the network is completely sold out for the duration of its two-hour broadcast. And according to Peter Vesey, vp, ad sales, Fox Sports Media Group, the broadcaster has literally doubled down on advertising partners, now boasting 16 national clients for Saturday night’s UFC card. UFC newcomers include representatives from key categories, including: beverages (Coca-Cola), insurance (Geico), automotive (Chrysler) and telecom/media (DirecTV). Sprint is a last-minute entry, committing to an in-fight unit on Thursday night. Among the returning sponsors is Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Bud Light, which has a multiyear contract in place with Fox. The most recent UFC on Fox broadcast, which featured six undercard and four main card bouts, delivered 4.4 million viewers on Dec. 8. More importantly, the event put up big numbers in the target demos, averaging a 3.1 rating among men 18-49 and a 2.8 with the 18-34 set. Headlined by a Benson Henderson-Nate Diaz lightweight title brawl , last month’s UFC broadcast peaked during the main event (5.7 million viewers). Saturday night’s card will be structured like the December package, with Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson set to headline in the UFC flyweight championship bout.