On last night’s episode of Inside MMA, businessman Mark Cuban revealed that he has struck a deal with UFC President Dana White to allow his TV network, HDNet, access to UFC events. Props to MMAFighting.com for the transcription.
“Over the years, Dana and I have had some disagreements at the business level,” Cuban said. “Because of those – and I can see his side of it, as well – HDNet has not had access to UFC events. We weren’t able to be at the weigh-ins, we didn’t have press credentials, we didn’t get video after fights. So Dana and I have been talking for the past few months and kind of came to some agreements and worked things out.”
Cuban was quick to point out that he and White have never had problems personally, only that they had not been able to come to terms business-wise.
“We’ve always gotten along,” Cuban said. “When the UFC came to Dallas (for UFC 103 in September 2009), I hosted him, met his wife. We’ve always gotten along great, but it always came down to some business points. We worked those things out.”
The Dallas Mavericks owner revealed the nature of HDNet’s deal with the UFC and indicated that Inside MMA, which airs on HDNet, would be granted a media pass that includes full coverage and possibly live weigh-in shows similar to those put on by ESPN MMA Live. Cuban also said that the UFC’s current partnerships with Spike TV and the Versus network will be unaltered by HDNet’s involvement in the promotion.
“Going forward, you’ll see HDNet at all the UFC events,” Cuban said. “We’ll have (Rice and Rutten) there. We’ll be doing interviews there. Hopefully we’ll be able to go live from weigh-ins. They still have their deals with Spike, obviously, and Versus, and they’ll still work closely with some other folks. But we’ll have full access, and that’s going to be a big change. That means (“Inside MMA”) will have a lot more access. I’m looking forward to working really closely with them and doing a lot more with them.”