UFC and FOX Announce Seven Year Broadcasting Agreement
By FCF Staff
As expected, the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the FOX television network announced a seven year, broadcasting agreement between the two companies today in Los Angeles.
The partnership will include 4 UFC cards being broadcast on FOX annually, and 4 to 6 “Fight Night” cards aired on FOX’s cable network FX, which will also broadcast two annual runs of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show.
FOX property FUEL TV will also feature weekly UFC programming.
The press conference, which took place in the FOX Sports studio, did not disclose any financial terms regarding the seven year agreement.
The first UFC event to be broadcast on FOX will take place November 12th. No details regarding the fight card were given. Additional UFC programming on FOX will begin in 2012.
Here are some of the highlights from today’s press conference.
-FOX Sports CEO David Hill credited UFC President Dana White and Zuffa’s Fertitta brothers for making mixed-martial-arts a mainstream sport.
-FOX Sports President Eric Shanks announced that there will be 4 cards aired on FOX, 32 live events on FX (which includes the live weekly fights that are part of the new “Ultimate Fighter” format) and two runs of The Ultimate Fighter. FUEL will have pre and post fights for pay-per-view broadcasts.
-White confirmed that TUF fights will be broadcast live weekly on FX, before stating that ‘this is what I always wanted’ in terms of signing a broadcast deal with FOX.
-The UFC President “couldn’t be more proud” about the fact that the UFC is now on a major network alongside other mainstream sports like baseball, football etc.
– UFC CEO Lorenzo Ferttita categorized the new agreement with FOX as “the next level”, on account of the fact that the UFC has partnered with the network previously in international markets and on “The Best Damn Sports Show.”
-FX General Manager John Landgraf stated that neither FX nor the UFC are “emerging” anymore, but rather are established, successful companies.
-Landgraf provided details regarding the new TUF format, which will feature a live fight weekly as well as taped, behind the scenes footage.
-White added that the TUF coaches will be in attendance at the live fights.
-Hill says his initial reservations with MMA were back in 2001, and that he’s changed his mind, due to the fact that he now understands the different dimensions of the sport. Hill also credited TUF for changing his opinion about MMA and its fighters.
-The first UFC card on FOX will take place November 12th, perhaps in Anaheim. White said they’re working on the card.
-Hill acknowledged that they have “canvassed” a large amount of companies that are interested in allocating advertising dollars to the UFC.
-Fertitta cited the UFC’s sponsorship deals with Anheuser Busch and Harley Davidson, among others, as evidence that the promotion can acquire substantial advertising revenue.
-The UFC will run the production of all events, however, FOX will produce the pre-fight and post-fight programming
-Fertitta said that the 4 cards featured on the FOX network could feature championship fights.