Following yesterday’s major TV deal announcement by FOX and the UFC Lorenzo Fertitta spoke to Ariel Helwani about the ins and outs of this historic deal.
Throughout the day Both Dana White and Fertitta have been telling the media that FOX is the perfect fit for the UFC, but why exactly is that?
Fertitta sums it up well as anybody.
“The reason this deal works is because of what you saw here today,” Fertitta explains. “It’s not just, ‘hey, we’re going to throw a fight up on FOX and see if it works. This is a seven year commitment at every level – broadcast, cable on a channel (FX) that is, like I said in the press conference, my favorite channel.
It’s in over a hundred million homes, definitely at the front edge of new, original programming. Now FX is also not only going to have the UFC, but they’ve got PAC 10 football, BIG 12 football, so now they are jumping into the sports area in a big way. And then having shoulder programming on FUEL, and then count all the RSN’s (Regional Sports Networks). So, it’s not just about this is a broadcast deal – this is a major media deal at every level throughout the sport spectrum.”
Here’s more keynotes from Fertitta’s conversation with Helwani.
– According to Fertitta FOX are embracing the UFC and treating them exactly like they would the NFL or MLB.
– The move away from Spike TV has been “cordial” and Fertitta believes both the UFC and the network have benefited greatly from their partnership over the years.
– Fertitta notes that the reason for announcing the FOX deal now is that they wanted to hit the ground running and they know there’s a lot of planning and preparation to do with the network in order to be ready for the transition at the turn of the year.
– Viacom were definitely another front-runner for the UFC in terms of a TV deal, but in the end “it wasn’t the right fit for Viacom.” He goes on to add that from the UFC’s perspective it was important to land on a network that could put on a large number of fights and original programing as they want to continue to expand their business. One channel wasn’t enough, they needed multiple platforms which is what the FOX deal gives them.
– According to Fertitta it makes sense for Spike TV to remain in the MMA business and he believes the likes of Bellator, ProElite, Shark Fights, or even multiple organizations could be targets for the channel.
– To close the UFC CEO once again voices both his and Dana White’s belief that one day MMA will be the biggest sport in the world due to the fact that it translates to any country whereas other sports such as the NFL for instance are only really popular in the U.S.
Watch the full interview below courtesy of MMAfighting.