Following up on our story in November about CBS wanting UFC to produce specials for their network (for that story, click here) , a deal had seemed imminent as of last week.
One of the major hold ups of the deal was that CBS wanted Brock Lesnar’s debut to be on one of their specials. Obviously that would have cost UFC a lot of PPV revenue, however they were considering it and it was only until earlier this week that they officially announced Lesnar’s debut for UFC 81 on Feb. 2, 2008.
Whether that means the deal has fallen through, or if CBS gave in to the UFC on the Lesnar issue should be evident in the coming days.
In an interesting note, when Lesnar had signed with UFC, an executive on Spike TV had suggested for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter to feature heavyweights and Lesnar to be one of them. Obviously they could have manipulated it to give Lesnar easy fights early on, and Lesnar’s involvement would have probably made the season the highest rated yet. That idea was quickly shot down, and although no official reason was given, I would assume UFC didn’t want Lesnar’s first fights on free TV.