UFC President Dana White spoke with Broadcasting & Cable following the successful and entertaining UFC 121 card, which went down Saturday night at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, and revealed to the television/business publication that the UFC has big plans for the coming months in specific regards to a big TV deal.
“A lot of people don’t realize we are in a half a billion homes around the world,” White said. “You know all the things we’ve been through in the United States, but this sport travels well. Cricket will never be big here and the NFL will never be big around the world. But we are all human beings and fighting is in our DNA. We get it and we like it. So we are working on a couple moves now and should be in a billion homes around the world in the next couple months.”
When asked if the UFC had plans to implement their own network, White indicated that the preliminary steps to doing so have already been taken and that consumers should expect to see a UFC network within the next two years.
“Sports Business Journal just came out with a survey asking big names in the industry which sport could start its own network and 4 out of 5 said us,” he said. “They are right. I agree. That will happen within the next couple years.”
White shied away from giving any real indication of who they will make their big TV deal with, but told the interviewer (Ben Grossman) that he wasn’t off-base in suggesting that the UFC could find a perfect home on either NBC or FOX. White did make it fairly clear however, that seeing any exclusive UFC programming on ESPN is likely out of the question.
“You are starting to see now ESPN is starting to cover us more,” said White. “I think this is one of those things ESPN will probably kick themselves in 10 years saying, ‘We could have f***ing had that.'”
The UFC issued a press release today in promotion of a “major announcement” that White will make this Thursday, but the nature of the announcement was not revealed. Whether or not this is when White will announce the major network deal is unknown but it seems a solid possibility that this is what the announcement will address.