It's been a steady run of ratings increases for Fuel TV since adding Ultimate Fighting Championship content to the fold this year. Now the cable network will look to add more subscribers with a free preview weekend.
Fuel TV, part of the Fox Sports Media Group, currently is part of DirecTV's Choice Xtra free trial through Monday. Fuel's "Domination Week" will wrap up with a 48-hour UFC marathon Saturday and Sunday.
Fuel began broadcasting UFC content at the start of the year, when the promotion's seven-year broadcasting deal with Fox started. The cable channel, which has seen its subscribers grow to around 36 million since the UFC came into the fold, is scheduled to air roughly 2,400 hours of UFC programming in 2012.
"UFC followers are some of the most passionate and loyal sports fans around," George Greenberg, Fuel's executive vice president and general manager, said in a statement. "The DirecTV Choice Xtra free trial enables more UFC enthusiasts to watch the sport they love with new shows like ‘UFC Tonight’ and ‘UFC Ultimate Insider’ and the biggest lineup of past fights ever. The message is clear, if you love UFC, you need Fuel TV."
Fuel's Saturday schedule includes plenty of past fights as part of the network's "UFC Reloaded" show, which essentially is a replay of past pay-per-view cards. Included in Saturday's lineup is UFC 79 (Matt Hughes vs. Georges St-Pierre, Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva) at 6 a.m. Eastern; UFC 135 (Jon Jones vs. Rampage Jackson) at 9 a.m. And in three-hour blocks after that, starting at noon, UFC 136, UFC 134, UFC 68, UFC 137, UFC 139 and UFC 140.
On Sunday, Fuel TV airs episodes of "UFC Unleashed," followed by seven weeks worth of episodes of the current season of "The Ultimate Fighter LIVE," which airs on sister network FX. Fuel will close out the 48-hour marathon with a replay of UFC on Fuel TV: Gustafsson vs. Silva, which took place in Sweden on April 14.