Dana White Says UFC Could Be On Network TV By 2011

Written by Tim Ngo
October 27th, 2010

UFC President Dana White

Could the UFC be working on a deal to get on network television? According to company president Dana White, the simple answer is, yes. However, that’s all you’re going to get out of the normally talkative Octagon boss, who says his product will be in a billion homes within the next few months.

“Yes, we will,” White told Broadcasting & Cable of being on broadcast TV by 2011. “We are working on some things right now. I just can’t talk about it at all because we are right in the middle of it. A lot of people don’t realize we are in a half a billion homes around the world. You know all the things we’ve been through in the United States, but this sport travels well.

“Cricket will never be big here and the NFL will never be big around the world. But we are all human beings and fighting is in our DNA. We get it and we like it. So we are working on a couple moves now and should be in a billion homes around the world in the next couple months.”

White hasn’t been shy about his aspirations for the sport he’s helped grow into near mainstream status, even going as far as saying MMA will become the biggest sport in the world by 2020.

Zuffa LLC, the parent company of the WEC and UFC, has an agreement in place to broadcast live Octagon events on the Versus Network. Industry insiders believe that partnership could open the doors for a deal with NBC since Comcast owns both networks. Fox has also been mentioned specifically, but everything is just cooler talk at the moment.

“It could be our way into NBC. Everything you’re saying makes sense,” White continued tease. “Fox on Saturday nights, Comcast merging with NBC, I am sorry I can’t get into it.”

There’s also the outside chance the UFC could creating their own premium channel, much like the WWE has done with their “WWE Classics on Demand.” That is an avenue that a recent survey reports would appeal to fans everywhere.

“Sports Business Journal just came out with a survey asking big names in the industry which sport could start its own network, and 4 out of 5 said us. They are right. I agree. That will happen within the next couple years,” the Octagon president stated.

As we reported yesterday, White will be making a “major announcement” during a media call on Thursday at 10AM PT/1PM ET.

Let the rumor mill continue to churn.

Don’t forget to follow @5thRound on Twitter, Facebook and Google+!