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Fox Draws Beer as UFC Sponsors

Fox says it has nearly sold out this month’s UFC broadcast and has managed to get beer rivals Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors to both stake out positions within the octagon.

Anheuser-Busch, a longtime backer of UFC, will be the presenting sponsor of all four live fight cards on Fox this year, beginning with the Jan. 28 event. A-B will also present live fights on FX and Fuel, according to Todd Siegel, executive VP, Fox Cable Sports Ad Sales.

MIllerCoors will sponsor the Ultimate Fighter reality series, which will air on FX.

About half of the spots on Fox’s UFC Jan. 28 show were bought by movie studios and video game makers. The strong ratings and high composition of young men during the first Fox UFC broadcast in November helped sell the upcoming bout, and that night, the main event lasted just 64 seconds, Siegel notes. Ratings numbers exceeded Fox’s estimates and are expected to be higher this time, resulting in higher ad prices. “We got good rates the first go-round and we’re getting good rates the second time around.”

Sources say spots on the broadcast cost about $150,000.

Deals to get a telecom and an auto company on board are imminent, according to Siegel. Past UFC events have been sponsored by Chrysler’s Jeep division. A fast food sponsor is expected in time for the spring bout on Fox.