Muscle Sport Magazine

UFC Move From Spike TV to Fox, FX in 2012 Still in Works

Dana White pulls no punches and tells it like it is. The UFC president refuted an earlier report that the top mixed martial arts organization had a deal in place to move their programming from Spike TV to Fox and one of their affiliates, FX.

White tweeted the following on August 16: “You guys will know when we have a TV deal. So either SBJ jumped the gun, or he’s not ready to talk. Houston press, unite.” 


White was referring to the Sports Business Journal/Sports Business Daily saying: ”

In what would represent a major push into the mainstream for the UFC, Fox has agreed to a deal that will see the broadcast channel air as many as four MMA events per year, according to several sources. The multiyear deal would mark the first time the UFC will have consistent airtime on a broadcast network. Fox execs refused to comment on the deal, but sources with knowledge of the negotiations said bidding had gone as high as $90M per year. The Fox deal is believed to be for seven or eight years. As part of the deal, most of the weekly programming that UFC has on Versus and Spike TV will move to FX starting in January. That includes several fight cards, plus shows like the reality series “The Ultimate Fighter.” Fox-owned Fuel also will wind up with some UFC content. But rumors that Fox will rebrand Fuel as a UFC channel are not true, sources said.

The UFC’s talks with Viacom-owned Spike ended before that. Sources said Spike ultimately passed over concern that its UFC shoulder programming stopped growing. Shows like “Unleashed,” “Knockouts” and “Countdown” averaged 1 million viewers in ’05. This year, they are averaging 492,000.

We shall see what happens. Surely there is something in the works because White did nothing to dispel that his organization is not looking to jump the Spike ship. When he tweets something that says “when we have a TV deal,” it’s easy to fill in the blanks.

Photo by Sam Baretto

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