Negotiations between longtime partners Spike TV and the UFC have started to get ugly, with the former recently counter-programming last week’s UFC on Versus 4 live fight card on Versus with a run of UFC programming.
The UFC were heavily rumored to be closing in on a deal to start their own network by purchasing the G4 channel, effectively ceasing the promotion’s relationship with Spike TV. Negotiations are ongoing though and, considering that Spike’s block of UFC-related programming beat the live fight card in ratings, Spike has UFC president Dana White’s attention.
White addressed the counter-programming during the UFC 132 pre-fight conference call (props to MMAMania.com).
“They might have,” White said when asked if Spike had started a war by running UFC programming against the UFC. “We’ll see. It is what it is. So, I owe you one, Spike. Negotiating is never fun and even though you’re negotiating and are in good faith and all this stuff, you know, you’re still giving some kicks to the balls here and there. Plus, the ‘Wall Street Journal’ came out and said all the things that they said about our negotiations, so I see Spike’s side. What the ‘Wall Street Journal’ put out and what everybody’s saying – none of that’s true. People are out there speculating on what’s going on. We have no deal with anybody. We’re out there talking to everybody. So I don’t buy into that stuff. When deals are done, and everybody does what they’re going to do, then we’ll see what happens.”