Tuesday, August 16, 2011

MMA Moves Mainstream; UFC Signs With Fox In Deal To Show MMA On Network TV

In the first deal struck between UFC and a major television network, Fox has agreed to show up to four MMA events per year.

Exact details are unknown, but the deal is thought to be for seven or eight years.  UFC will move shows such as "The Ultimate Fighter" and other shows currently airing on Spike TV and Versus to Fox-owned channels like Fuel and FX.

Zuffa is the sports marketing corporation that is the parent company of the UFC, and they have not officially commented on this news as of yet.  Ratings had fallen for many of the taped UFC events that Spike had been showing, but there was no indication that the move was primarily for monetary reasons related to ratings.

The real money in the UFC comes from pay-per-view sales.  For 2010, Zuffa had 16 events on Pay Per View: There were15 UFC events, and one in professional wrestling.  In total, those 16 events earned over an estimated 9 million buys, with gross sales estimated to be $411 million.

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