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UFC Returning To ABC With Broadcast Utilizing TikTok Content

The promotion is using Tagboard to integrate TikTok content into the broadcast.

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The UFC is returning to ABC this weekend, and they are bringing some new digital tricks to enhance the broadcast. UFC Fight Night: Vettori vs. Holland airs on ABC this Saturday, with prelims starting at 12 p.m. ET and the main event between Marvin Vettori and Kevin Holland commencing at 3 p.m. ET.

ESPN’s first broadcast of the UFC on ABC was a big success, bringing in the second most viewers for a UFC Fight Night main event since February 2019. UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Kattar maxed out at 1.6 million viewers on Saturday, Jan. 16. It was the first live MMA event on ABC, which last aired a boxing card in 2000.

This MMA card won’t be a run-of-the-mill production. UFC has partnered with Tagboard to use their technology on live broadcasts. UFC is using Tagboard to integrate their own TikTok content into their fight productions.

“We are diving into our partnership with TikTok in a big way, by not only bringing content to our fans on their platform but also by utilizing athlete and fan-generated content to tell stories across our linear broadcast,” said David Shaw, Senior Vice President of International and Content for UFC. “Our partnership with Tagboard offers unparalleled access for us to tell the UFC story with more immediacy and powerful context, benefiting our fans and viewers around the world.”

Fans can expect the new integration to happen during the Sam Alvey vs. Julian Marquez fight. Both fighters have been “digitally sparring” on TikTok. Content that the UFC is integrating into their fight broadcast using Tagboard’s platform.

UFC Fighter Aljamain Sterling reacts to TikTok content he created around a popular challenge on the app.

“We simply love to work with media companies who want to push the boundaries of how stories are told,” said Tagboard’s President, Nathan J. Peterson. “Our partners at UFC and TikTok have challenged us to help them think through the most innovative ways to tell stories across both broadcast and the TikTok platform. This is where Tagboard thrives, and I’m excited to see our collaboration grow, starting this Saturday!” 

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Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX

“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”

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FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.

A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.

The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.

Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.

That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.

Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.

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FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars

“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”

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The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.

Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.

Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.

“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”

Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.

“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.

FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.

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NBA Draft To Get Simulcast From ESPN & ABC

“This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.”

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ESPN is set for the 2022 NBA Draft coming up on June 23 at 8 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The network announced Wednesday the crews that will handle coverage on both ESPN and ABC.

ABC will broadcast the first round in primetime. Kevin Negandhi will host and will be joined by Stephen A. Smith, Chiney Ogwumike and Jalen Rose. Monica McNutt will be reporting and interviewing draftees.

This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.

Malika Andrews will host both rounds for ESPN. Jay Bilas, Kendrick Perkins and Adrian Wojnarowski will share the set. Analysts Bobby Marks and Mike Schmitz will contribute.

“We’re thrilled that Malika Andrews will host this year’s ESPN presentation as she brings her well-documented, widespread skillset to our main set,” said David Roberts, head of NBA and Studio Production for ESPN. “The event will showcase the scope and depth of our NBA and college basketball talent roster with accomplished journalists and high-profile personalities across ESPN, ABC and ESPN Radio.”

ESPN will air a pre-draft red carpet show hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth from 5-6 p.m. Perkins and Richard Jefferson will also make appearances.

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