Spike TV Taps Ultimate Fighting Championship To Combat WWE RAW; Spike/TNA Update

Brian Cantor

With WWE RAW set to return to USA in a matter of months, Spike TV took its first major effort to combat the loss of its flagship program. The network announced plans Tuesday to feature Ultimate Fighting Championship all over its schedule.

Beginning 8/22 at 11PM, the first of two new seasons of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show will air. Although the show depended on the RAW lead-in to reach a strong initial audience, Spike is confident that the show’s 1.9 finale rating – without help from RAW – indicates a large “set” fanbase for the program.

Throughout 2005 and 2006, Spike will also air six life UFC fight cards, in addition to a new 26 episode series that features highlights from past UFC PPVs.

The network had also had brief discussions about handing TNA a timeslot, although at this point, no deal has materialized.

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