Sources: UFC 129 to start earlier

Updated: March 8, 2011, 11:15 PM ET
By Brett Okamoto | ESPN.com

The UFC has elected to air its pay-per-view broadcast of UFC 129 one hour earlier than previous shows.

Sources within the organization have confirmed to ESPN.com that the UFC 129 broadcast on April 30 will air at 9 p.m. ET. The event takes place at the Rogers Centre in Toronto and will be headlined by a welterweight title fight between Georges St. Pierre and Jake Shields.

The new start time could also apply to future shows. However, it will not affect UFC 128 on March 19.

While UFC officials have yet to make an official statement on the time change, audiences within the Eastern Time Zone clearly benefit. Because UFC pay-per-view events are slotted for three hours, some shows don't end until 1 a.m. Sunday in those areas.

It's a significant audience considering nearly half of the U.S. population lives within that time zone, as well as several key Canadian markets.

Traditionally, all Northern American UFC pay-per-views have started at 10 p.m. ET. Even international shows are occasionally set for local times that coincide with that broadcast.

The last pay-per-view that occurred off that schedule was UFC 112 from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, which aired live at 1 p.m. ET.

Brett Okamoto covers mixed martial arts for ESPN.com.