What’s better than having your product seen in more than a million households? Getting it plastered on over a BILLION television sets across the globe. If you thought Zuffa, LLC’s watershed merger was big news, UFC president Dana White claims it’s just the tip of the iceberg as the Octagon heads into the new decade.
“We’re working on two deals right now, in the next few months, that I’m very confident we’ll get done. We’ll be in over a billion homes worldwide on television,” White stated during the UFC 123 post-fight presser. “What does that mean for the sport in the next three years, let alone five or ten?
“A lot of people don’t realize, right now, we’re in a half a billion homes worldwide. We’re in 175 different countries. We’re pretty big right now. I envision it being much bigger. I think we’re gonna be bigger than everything.”
Obviously, MMA’s most powerful man kept the countries and companies involved in the potential deals close to the vest. Although, in an October interview with Broadcasting & Cable, White not only hinted that a major network deal was in the pipeline, but they could possibly launch their very own network “within the next couple years.”
According to reports, Zuffa LLC’s contract with their current broadcast partners Spike TV will expire in 2011. While White has suggested Octagon shows will remain on the edgy channel, their expanded relationship with Versus could play a significant roll in the UFC’s television future.
Industry insiders believe that partnership could blast open the doors for a deal with NBC, since Comcast owns both networks.
Courtesy of their monumental merger, White now has access to a barrage of WEC lightweight talent, as well as two new weight classes. Although their enlarged roster would lead one to believe they would host more shows in 2011, White predicts the bigger, badder UFC will offer just about as many as this current year.
“We’ll probably do around 30, 31 fights next year,” said White.
The UFC held a total of 24 fight cards in 2010 – including “numbered” shows, UFC Fight Nights and a two Versus specials – while the WEC hosted eight events.