In an interview this past weekend, Dana White alluded to the UFC landing a network television deal within the next six months. Now it seems Adam Swift has been able to dig up a few more details, although he maintains it is an unconfirmed report.
MMAPayout.com has learned that FOX is now widely believed to be the leading candidate to become the UFC’s network television partner. Earlier this month White met with FOX executives in Los Angeles. While a deal with FOX is not believed to be imminent, industry sources have told MMAPayout.com that they believe the companies are making progress toward a deal.
A deal with FOX would be huge for the UFC, and if it does materialize, it was really only a matter of time, considering the UCF’s closest, albeit very distant competitor, EliteXC, secured a four-event primetime network television deal with CBS. Prior to the network TV race, the UFC was in talks with HBO, but that deal eventually fell through due to issues over production control.
If EliteXC’s debut show, appropriately dubbed “Primetime,” does well in the ratings, I would imagine the UFC will be in a much better negotiating position than they currently are. Network television lives and breathes by ratings, so if relatively unknown EliteXC is able to pull in the viewers, it would all but guarantee the powerhouse UFC primetime, network success.
If the UFC does in fact strike a deal with FOX, I can’t wait to see what these two will say about the network that writes their checks.