For a while, the MMA blogosphere was acting like it was a forgone conclusion that the UFC would end up joining with the evil Comcast network, which has it’s Japanese rape tentacles firmly penetrated across networks like NBC, Versus, G4, and more. Then there was a tiny note from Dana White’s media mouthpeice Kevin Iole that “even though negotiations [between the UFC and Spike] have been contentious, they’re good for each other and there will probably be a new deal announced before much longer.”
Now we have a new pony in the race, according to ESPN (via MMA Payout):
ESPN.com has learned that the UFC’s rumored 2012 broadcast deal with NBC and takeover of the company’s G4 network may not happen now, as the unconfirmed rumbling are that negotiations may have broken down. Several sources say Fox — including its FOX Network, FX, Fox Sports Net and Fuel properties — is the new front runner for a UFC distribution deal and that an agreement could be done by the end of the month.
Eugh. G4 was worse than Spike, and Fuel is worse than G4. If these deals are getting made, they better be loaded to the brim with UFC content on the non-shitty channels. It sounds like all these networks want UFC content to help build up their non-performing stations, but what does that do for MMA? It’s our sport that takes the risk and we’re the ones that have to worry about the next executive through the revolving door deciding Fuel should become the Martha Stewart network. Then where would we be?
The UFC better not be deluding itself that they can build another Spike from the ground up. Spike was a success because it managed to pinpoint exactly how dumb America was and cater to it with programming for retards (or as the execs call it, retargramming). Now that’s what all of cable television does. The window of opportunity has closed. What we need is a few big shows a year on a broadcast network, not a complicated mash of the UFC on 6 channels half of North America doesn’t even get.