With Thursday’s announcement about the UFC moving to FOX, Spike TV has officially announced the 14th season of the ‘Ultimate Fighter’ will be the last on the network.
Spike officials made a statement on Thursday regarding the end of their partnership with the UFC, and moving in a direction of different original programming.
“The Ultimate Fighter” season 14 in September will be our last,” read the press release from Spike TV. “We are increasing our commitment to distinctive, original series that we own such as “Auction Hunters” and “Bar Rescue” which are delivering on our goal to reach a broader audience.
“Our 6-year partnership with the UFC has been incredibly beneficial in building both our brands, and we wish them all the best in the future.”
While the UFC’s new programming including future season of the ‘Ultimate Fighter’ and other original shows will now be featured on FOX, Spike TV isn’t completely out of the UFC business.
Currently, Spike TV still owns the rights for all previous UFC broadcasts, ‘Ultimate Fighter’ programming and other original shows through the end of 2012. The UFC can of course buy back the rights to those programs, but it’s all repeat shows from previous broadcasts.
All new programming will air on FOX, FX and other FOX subsidiaries.
While Spike TV officials made the statement about moving in a different direction, it’s no secret that the Viacom owned company is currently in negotiations to bring Bellator Fighting Championships onto the network.
Bellator currently airs on MTV2, but a move to the MMA friendly Spike TV could be a ratings boost for the promotion as well as replace some of the programming void left by the UFC’s exit.
The ‘Ultimate Fighter’ season 14 will begin airing on Spike TV in Sept and will be the final year for the long running reality show on the network.