ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., December 10, 2007 -- In an unprecedented event, CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, takes a no-holds barred look at the business behind the nation's fastest growing sports franchise: Ultimate Fighting. On Thursday, December 13th at 10PM & 1AM ET, CNBC presents an original one-hour documentary, "Ultimate Fighting: From Blood Sport to Big Time," reported by CNBC's Scott Wapner.
With unusual access, the program tells the story behind the rise of the Ultimate Fighting Championship as both a business and cultural phenomenon. From its controversial beginnings to its mainstream acceptance and millions of dollars in ticket sales, the UFC is making money hand over fist.
"As mixed martial arts'most prominent league, the UFC, is not just exploding in popularity, but expanding as a financial empire," said Josh Howard, VP Long Form and Special Programming. "This documentary exposes a dying franchise resurrected from violent and controversial beginnings to one of the most successful ventures in all of professional sports."
CNBC profiles the Ultimate Fighting Championship President and popular frontman Dana White, a college dropout from South Boston, who has used a fighter's instincts and shrewd business sense to overcome a series of hurdles facing the league, including the fact that it remains unsanctioned in a number of states.
The program examines Ultimate Fighting's presence not just in the sporting world, but also on the landscape of popular culture. With a devoted fan base of young males, the franchise is in many ways an advertiser's dream, though one that Madison Avenue has approached with some caution because of its controversial nature. CNBC takes a look at the range of promotions, endorsements and movie deals tied to the sport as well as at TapouT, the successful apparel company created by three hardcore fans whom turned their passion for mixed martial arts into a thriving multi-million dollar business.
CNBC takes viewers to fight night on the Las Vegas strip, where Ultimate Fighting has given the sport of boxing a run for its money and attracted the kind of attention and money critics once thought impossible.
"Ultimate Fighting: From Blood Sport to Big Time," re-airs on Sunday, December 16th at 10PM ET and Monday, December 17th at 9PM & 12AM ET.
The executive producer of "Ultimate Fighting: From Blood Sport to Big Time," is Mitch Weitzner. Josh Howard is the executive in charge of production and Vice President of Long Form and Special Programming.
For more information log on to: ufc.cnbc.com.
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