UFC Executive Garry Cook Discusses Increased European Schedule For 2014
Posted by Larry Csonka on 10.23.2013
More events, possible new nights and in primetime…
- UFC Executive Garry Cook recently spoke about the expanded European schedule for 2014. Here are the highlights…
On The New European Events: "It'll be a bit more of a local event. The pay-per-view business in Europe is not as strong as it is in the United States. And it's up to the U.S. networks to decide if they take this product. There's many things we can change in the world, and the UFC has done a great job of changing the landscape of sport in the world. The one thing that we're struggling with is time zones. We're not able to make a difference there. They're etched in stone and are going to be with us the rest of our lives. So we're just trying to create in the prime time hours."
On Possibly Running on Fridays: "What we also have to be cognizant of here, the same way as in the USA where you've got the NFL, NBA and in the summer you've got baseball, we have (soccer)," he said. "And on a Saturday night, 8 o'clock, the Spanish and the Italians play their best games. If you're a soccer fan, you might want to watch that. What we're trying to do is find the opportunity. It seems that Friday night is always an open night. Alternatively, if you look at the United Kingdom, Saturday night, 72 percent of the (television) audience is female. So why not have the ultimate male product on at the same time?"
On Localizing Events: "I've been talking to Dana and Lorenzo for a long time now about the growth of the UFC globally," Cook said. "It needs to be more local. We've been an American product that has taken the hearts and minds of everybody around the globe. But ironically, most of what we do is built for U.S. television. The objective of our exercise is to give our European networks product during their prime time. So what we plan to do is a minimum of six events next year. The arenas are already being booked as we speak. But ideally, that product is not for American television unless they choose to take it ... My job here is to bring new audience to this wonderful sport, and obviously to the UFC. So we'll be kicking that off in March, and we'll go from there."