It was something UFC President Dana White had been pushing for since he became the face of the UFC and now he’s finally got his wish.
Dana White and the Ultimate Fighting Championship have joined the ranks of true top tier major professional North American sports with their latest TV deal with Fox Networks. With the deal, the UFC has instantly shot to feared contender status and sports like the MLB should be looking over their shoulder.
The seven-year agreement will include the eventual migration of hit reality television series, “The Ultimate Fighter.” In the past, Fox has been home to major sporting events like the World Series and now the UFC and its stars will get their time in the Fox limelight as Fox will also carry four fights each year.
The FX Network will air and additional 6 bouts And Fuel TV will begin airing UFC-related programming in January, including “UFC Unleashed,” “UFC Primetime,” the “UFC Knockout” series and “Best of Pride.”
For UFC fans, this is a huge win. Already a majority of UFC bouts are pay-per-view, but the company has said that showing free fights on broadcast will be essential to broadening its audience.
What does this mean for the gambling industry? With a broadening audience for UFC, there’s a real chance that more casual fans could become bettors, it should almost go without saying that sportsbook UFC offerings need to be bumped up to the levels of major professional sports.
Dana White said in a press conference: “We’re excited to be part of the FOX family…The UFC is finally where it belongs on the number one network in the country and aligned with the most prestigious sports properties in the world. I’ve always said that the UFC will be the biggest sport in the world and with this relationship it will become a reality.”