Rights Deal Puts Fox In Ring With UFC

Fox Sports and mixed-martial arts league UFC have just finalized a multi-year deal that will put at least four primetime MMA cards on the Fox network each year and weekly programming on cable sibling FX. The Sports Business Journal¬†says the deal could be worth as much as $90 million a year over seven or eight years; Fox Sports declined to comment. A broadcast deal is a big step up for UFC, which in addition to lucrative pay-per-view events has weekly shows on cable nets Versus and Spike TV — under the new agreement with Fox, that programming will move to FX beginning in January after those deals expire. (Spike TV still owns rights to a library of UFC programming, including episodes of UFC Unleashed, through 2012.) Fuel, another Fox-owned cable network, also will see some UFC programming, SBJ says.¬†The deal also is a coup for Fox: In June, it was reported that Comcast’s NBCUniversal was in serious negotiations with UFC, with those talks centered on the league taking a controlling stake in NBCU’s G4 cable network, which sported the right young-male demo but has seen ratings challenges. NBCU-owned Versus also already had UFC programming. Instead, rival Fox has taken those demo eyeballs away.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2011/08/rights-deal-puts-fox-in-ring-with-ufc-158492/