UFC President Dana White said the UFC 'is finally where it belongs.'
FOX Networks Will Broadcast Four Annual Cards
In one of the biggest announcements in mixed martial arts history, the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) and Zuffa, LLC, made official a multi-year agreement with FOX Sports Media Group on Thursday. Beginning with its first live event on November 12th, the multi-media deal also includes moving The Ultimate Fighter to FX Networks, along with additional UFC programming, from its previous home on Spike TV.
“We’re excited to be part of the FOX family,” UFC President Dana White commented. “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.”
UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta agreed with the sentiments proclaimed by White.
“My brother Frank, Dana and I always believed that our passion for the sport of mixed martial arts would help us to build the UFC into a successful global brand and ultimately make it one of the premier sports properties in the world,” he remarked. “The partnership with FOX is a major step in making this a reality and also builds on the great relationship that we already have established with FOX in Latin America, Australia and Europe.”
FX, which is a subsidiary station owned by FOX, is also set to air an additional four to six fight cards annually beginning in 2012, along with other live programming and archive productions.
“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 John Landgraf, President and General Manager of FX Networks. “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.”
The UFC is also planning some changes to The Ultimate Fighter, with multiple sources stating that each week’s fight will be aired live on FX. The Ultimate Fighter is the reality show of the UFC, and it is the program that truly thrust MMA onto the sports landscape. The previous 12 seasons of the show have all run on Spike TV, which had also served as the home to the majority of the other UFC programming.