It was quite the opening montage for the FOX-UFC press conference to announce a television deal between the two.
As highlights from the NFL, MLB and NASCAR played, scenes featuring elite UFC fighters were added in, along with the usual introductions by voice of the UFC, Bruce Buffer.
That was followed by a calm Joe Rogan welcoming everyone to a familiar studio at FOX, as many top executives from both FOX and the UFC gathered together, along with UFC fighters.
FOX Sports Chairman David Hill opened the event, talking about his first meeting with UFC brass Dana White and brothers Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta.
“Memories isn’t what television is about. There is no yesterday in television,” Hill said. “Television is all about the next big thing.
“When we first started talking to the UFC 10 years ago, Lorenzo said something to me then that I didn’t believe. But over the last 10 years, I have. He said ‘What boxing was to your generation, UFC will be, and is, for the next upcoming generation.'”
What that means is a new multi-year, multi-media contract between the two has been signed, as programming will begin on FOX this November. Live fights, pre- and post-fight shows, a live version of The Ultimate Fighter and several other UFC-based shows will be broadcast on FOX, FX and Fuel TV.
“I have watched in amazement (at what the UFC has become),” Hill said. “Television can’t make a sport, it’s the people that have to speak (out). What Dana, Lorenzo and Frank have done is take (UFC) to a mainstream sport.
“This is going to get bigger, and bigger, and bigger. This is just the beginning.”
White has spoken many times about what a major television deal would mean to him and the UFC.
“We have reached a lot of milestones in building this company and growing the sport, but to be honest, this is the biggest,” White said. “This was it for me. It’s what I have always wanted. I have always felt that the pinnacle for us in the United States was to get a deal with FOX.
“We wanted to be on the No. 1 network in the country and be on a network with all the other big sports like the NFL, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, etc. This partnership is going to be amazing and is going to take this sport to the next level.”