ABC has aired live UFC fights before, but never in primetime. That will end next Saturday, when the network simulcasts coverage of the UFC 276 prelims.
Saturday, July 2, @ABCNetwork will air its first-ever #UFC event in primetime – the #UFC276 Prelims at 8p ET
More: https://t.co/bKwdTSJQtA https://t.co/9LBudzHb3Q
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) June 24, 2022
In addition to ABC, the fights will air on ESPN, ESPN+, and ESPN Deportes.
The two hour prelims broadcast on July 2nd begins at 8 PM ET, and features four fights, listed below.
- Brad Riddell vs. Jalin Turner
- Robbie Lawler vs. Bryan Barberena
- Ian Garry vs. Gabe Green
- Jim Miller vs. Donald Cerrone
The prelims broadcast is preceded by the early prelims (yes, there are prelims and early prelims, and yes, there was a time when both the early prelims and prelims aired on completely different platforms) on ESPN, ESPN+, and ESPN Deportes at 6 PM , and is followed by the main UFC 276 PPV on ESPN+ at 10 PM.
I feel like it was inevitable that the UFC would get a primetime slot on ABC one of these days, and what better time during the summer when there’s nothing else going on?
Sure, it’s a little disappointing that the event in question is just a set of prelims, but given how much cash ESPN has plunked down for the UFC and its exclusive PPV rights, they weren’t going to put the main card of a numbered event on ABC in primetime (the fact that those events start at 10 PM ET also doesn’t help).
If this goes well, it’s hard not to see a primetime Fight Night card coming to ABC in the future.