It looks like DirecTV customers looking forward to the UFC’s transition to Fox and several of its subsidiary networks may soon be let down with their satellite TV provider.
Entertainment Weekly is reporting that DirecTV has taken to implementing some aggressive negotiating tactics with Fox networks as they attempt to reach a carriage agreement for the coming year. Fox networks’ last contract with DirecTV ran out in September, and the satellite service provider has threatened to stop carrying the broadcasting giant (Fox runs several popular channels in addition to all those bearing the Fox name: National Geographic, FX, and FuelTV, to name just a few) if they don’t agree to DirecTV’s new terms.
Should Fox decided not to give in, their networks will be pulled from DirecTV on November 1 – just in time for the UFC’s November 12 network debut.
“DirecTV sent us a proposal on Tuesday afternoon,” a Fox networks spokesman said. “They have given us no chance to respond before taking an unnecessarily aggressive posture and going public. It is disappointing that they have chosen bad faith tactics over meaningful negotiation. We have proposed to keep the Fox Networks on DirecTV for the same price, and on the same terms as they are currently carried while we attempt to work out a fair agreement. Unfortunately, DirecTV has decided that unless they get their way, they are going to pull the plug on their customers November 1.”
This news comes just months after the UFC signed a seven-year broadcasting deal with Fox, which extends to other networks like FX and FuelTV and is expected to go a long way in carrying the sport into the mainstream. How exactly the promotion’s plans will be affected by the possible removal of Fox programming from DirecTV is up in the air, but it certainly doesn’t bode well.