On Thursday morning in Los Angeles, California, the Ultimate Fighting Championship and FOX announced they have come to terms on a seven-year television broadcast agreement.
As part of the arrangement, FOX and FX will air a total of 36 live UFC events per year. “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series will air all 26 bouts live on FX on Friday nights. Furthermore, the network will feature six live ‘UFC Fight Night’ events.
FOX will showcase four live shows each year, with their first extravaganza coming November 12th. No information about the card’s roster was released, but UFC president Dana White suggested it will take place in Anaheim, California.
Fuel TV, which is also owned by FOX, will broadcast ‘UFC Unleashed’ and ‘UFC Prelims Live,’ among other Octagon programming.
“We’re excited to be part of the FOX family,” stated White. “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.”
It had been reported bidding to land the UFC had gone as high as $90 million per annual, but FOX executives refused to reveal how much they paid for Octagon action.
Negotiations with Spike, the UFC’s longtime freebie TV provider whose contract expires at the end of this year, broke down a while back.
“UFC’s growth over the past decade is nothing short of phenomenal and it has become one of the marquee sports in this country,” said FX Networks president John Landgraf. “There is a reason for its rising popularity. It features some of the greatest athletes in the world, and we believe it will be a terrific addition to our schedule and look forward to our relationship.”
Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of the UFC and Strikeforce, has achieved many great feats during their 10-year stint in MMA. However, outside of planting an Octagon under Madison Square Garden’s famed spotlight in New York, scoring a television deal with either CBS, NBC, ABC or FOX was the next best thing to gaining mainstream acceptance in America.
Here’s a peek at what the UFC on Fox set looks like: