As noted yesterday, Comcast is in talks to sell a controlling interest of the G4 cable channel to the UFC.
UFC President Dana White has hinted at starting their own network since last fall. Their current deal with Spike ends in six months, and negotiations came to a halt after the organization proposed a significant increase in their annual payment, reportedly from $170 million to $325 million a year — a figure that White denies.
“Let me ask you a question: Where would they really get that?” asked White when speaking with MMAJunkie.com. “Where would that come from? Come on.”
Sherdog.com reports that if the UFC were to not re-up with Spike, that Bellator Fighting Championships, which is already a part of MTV Networks alongside Spike, may serve as a replacement on the network. According to the report, Bellator’s current deal is with MTV Networks and is not exclusive to MTV2, and their programming would be moved to Spike in 2012 should the UFC fail to come to terms on a new deal with their long time network.
According to a report in The New York Times, representatives of the UFC and Comcast’s NBC Universal division were said to have met on Wednesday in New York. The deal discussed would apparently give the UFC a 60 percent or more ownership of G4, which was removed from DirectTV’s lineup last November and is one of Comcast’s lowest-rated channels. The deal could also include specials on NBC, also owned by Comcast.
White maintains that they are currently talking to “everybody” and that he remains unsure of where they will end up.