For the most part, everyone remembers his or her major firsts: job, car, love…the list goes on. In 2016, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) become the first to broadcast a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight in 4K, and followed that up with the first VR broadcast this past May. Through these innovative tactics, the MMA juggernaut has seriously raised the bar for MMA programming, taking the fan experience to a whole new level. RCS has been fortunate to be a part of these productions, and it’s been an awesome journey.
Two years ago, a great partnership was born as we collaborated with UFC on a Pay Per View (PPV) broadcast of its 189 fight card, which saw Mendes battle it out against McGregor in the ring. Having enlisted Troika to design an all new graphics package set to debut during the fight, UFC turned to our team for help getting the graphics on-air. Working together, we merged Troika’s designs with custom graphics builds and then implemented interface scripts and a workflow to ensure the production would go off without a hitch.
The following year, UFC made plans to broadcast the first-ever live 4K MMA match on DirecTV, and our team was called upon once again. We developed a solution that allowed them to use existing HD graphics for the live 4K broadcast; the system was deployed for two additional 4K fight broadcasts that year. More recently, we worked with UFC on UFC 212 to deliver customs graphics solutions for their first-ever VR fight, available on the Gear VR. Since starting work with the organization, our bullet mobile graphics workstations have also helped deliver graphics for UFC events broadcast on FOX Sports, Fight Pass and PPV throughout the entire calendar year.
With UFC’s International Fight Week and Tuesday Night Contender Series around the corner, you can bet that UFC has even more up its sleeve. We could tell you, but where’s the fun in that? Stay tuned for more details to come in July.