UFC Going to Network TV in 2011, Potential MMA Channel in Future
Though the popularity of MMA is growing immensely, there aren’t too many places to find coverage of the UFC on TV. There’s Spike, Versus, and of course pay-per-view for most of the big cards. Strikeforce has been on CBS and their cards are found on Showtime, HDNet airs Dream fights, and Bellator cards are seen on Fox Sports channels. But good news for the growth of the UFC in particular, Dana White says the organization is looking into network TV deals for 2011 with a UFC or MMA channel a possibility for the future.
He wasn’t able to get into many specifics during an interview with Broadcasting & Cable, but he said they’re in the process of working on several deals. FOX and NBC were mentioned as possibilities. As for a potential MMA or UFC channel? It appears as if one is forthcoming according to White, who said “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. They are right. I agree. That will happen within the next couple years.”
There have been talks of the UFC going to network TV for the past few years and nothing has emerged, but Strikeforce did break that barrier debuting on CBS. The notable information here is the possibility that they start their own network, like MLB Network, NFL Network, The Golf Channel, The Tennis Channel, and all the other sports with their own channels. It’s probably just a matter of time before we see both items happen.