It is official. The UFC and the FOX Sports Network announced this morning that they are entering into a 7-year media deal together. For those who follow MMA, you may already know that Dana White, President of the UFC, has been targeting FOX sports from the beginning. His vision has finally come to fruition.
The coverage will span across numerous networks run by FOX, including FX, FuelTV and FOX Desportes. Without further ado, here's what we'll have to look forward to:
Four(4) guaranteed, live broadcast events.
Thirty-Two(32) live broadcast events, including the all-new LIVE "The Ultimate Fighter" reality show. The show will be taped through the week, quickly edited and played as that week's episode, followed by a live fight. The coolest part of the change to live television for "The Ultimate Fighter" is that fans at home will have an opportunity to voice their opinion for who should fight that week. It has not been released exactly how fans will be involved, but I'm sure it will make the next season of the show interesting.
Additional UFC programming like "UFC Unleashed" and "Prelims Live" will now play on FuelTV. Also, pre and post fight coverage for all UFC fights will be aired on FuelTV.
All programming that is in Spanish will run on this network. This is huge for the UFC because of their massive Hispanic fan base.
All in all, this is a huge step forward for the UFC and the sport of Mixed Martial Arts as a whole. In the past, there have been concerns that advertisers would shy away from sponsorships and running ads during UFC fights due to the violence and small demographic reach of the sport. But over years, Dana White and all the fighters that have been involved with the UFC have shown that MMA and specifically the UFC is a viable investment. FOX certainly thinks so.
But of everyone in the room, none could be happier than Dana White himself.
“We’re excited to be part of the FOX family,” Dana White, UFC President said. “The UFC is finally where it belongs on the number one network in the country and aligned with the most prestigious sports properties in the world. I’ve always said that the UFC will be the biggest sport in the world and with this relationship it will become a reality.”
And with that, "ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FIGHT-IN'?!"
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