Spike TV's competition reality series The Ultimate Fighter is now throwing punches in an online octagon of its own.
The men's-targeted network and the Ultimate Fighting Championship Thursday announced the launch of a new vertical website that will feature every episode and every fight from all 10 seasons of the network's hit series The Ultimate Fighter. The ad-supported network will also feature original content from season 11 of TUF which debuts next week, according to Erik Flannigan, executive vice president, digital media, MTVN Entertainment Group.
The Marines, fast food chain Burger King, and mixed martial arts clothing line company TapouT are the initial sponsors for UltimateFighter.com, although Flannigan said the network is talking to other companies about advertising on the site.
Outside of TUF DVD offerings, the site marks the first time all 231 complete fights that have aired on the series - including the full fight cards of all ten season finales -- have been available since their initial airing on the show, Flanagan told Multichannel News
"There has been an enormous fan base for The Ultimate Fighter because it has been sort of the proving ground of some of the biggest names in the sport," he said. "We felt we had this valuable archive that needed to be woven together and re-contextualized for a fanbase that was passionate enough to look for this content."
Along with behind the scenes coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 11:
Team Liddell vs. Team Ortiz, Flanagansaid the site will also feature
in their entirety every TUF fight not aired during the weekly
Flanagan also said the site will include special video packages of fighters featured in upcoming UFC PPV events. With many TUF alumni including Rashad Evans, Forrest Griffin, Matt Serra, Diego Sanchez, Michael Bisping, Nate Diaz, Kenny Florian, Roy Nelson and Kimbo Slice now prominent UFC fighters, the site can further promote the UFC brand by showcasing how these stars began their careers in the sport.
"Both The Ultimate Fighter on Spike TV and the UFC in general are in the business of making fans for the UFC," he said. "We felt to move people up the value chain from casual fans to PPV buyer, this was a way to introduce them to the UFC and TUF, which we feel works for everybody involved."