UFC Officially Signs Deal with FOX
UFC and FOX signs a landmark of 7-year broadcast deal!
Last Thursday, UFC and FOX confirmed a deal that would bring the largest MMA promotion in the said the network for the next seven years. The terms stated that FOX will broadcast four UFC events per year on broadcast television, and six events on FX — their basic cable station. The Ultimate Fighter will also air in the cable station in a revamped live version, while FOX-owned titles like FUEL and FOX Deportes will also carry UFC programs. In relation to this, the first UFC event on FOX will be on November 12, while additional programs will be launched in the network by January 2012.
The landmark deal was jointly announced at the FOX studios in Los Angeles by FOX Chairman and CEO, David Hill; FOX Sports Media Group Co-president and COO, Eric Shanks; FX President, John Landgraf; UFC President, Dana White; and Zuffa Chairman, Lorenzo Fertitta.
Dana White stated the deal as the highlight of his tenure in leading the UFC.
“This was it for me, this is what I always wanted. This is what I always felt was the pinnacle for us here in the United States. Not just to be on the No. 1 network in the country, but to be on a network with all the other real big sports: NFL, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, etc.”
For a time, the UFC was said to launch its own network — a fact that was acknowledged by Lorenzo Fertitta. But after considering all available options, including network offers, the FOX deal best fit their goals and needs. Dana White added that the promotion will use the deal as a “fresh start” to revamp all of their offerings, including pay-per-views.
Most significant changes may come to The Ultimate Fighter, which will take place in a 12-week time frame and includes live fight each week. Hence, the deal will move the show to Friday nights with each episode featuring taped footage from four to five days prior. However, the match between advancing fighters will have a live broadcast. Moreover, coaches will conduct their own training camps and fight at the end of the season. Also stated in the agreement, the UFC will continue to control production of its events, while FOX will control pre and post-fight shows.
In totality, there will be 36 UFC annual bouts on FOX-owned networks which consist of 26 live TUF fights, 6 FX “Fight Night” events, and four major events on FOX.
See Dana White’s interview courtesy of MMA Fighting below.