For you Brits worried that your sweet ride of free UFC events are coming to an end (yup, what’s pay per view in America is merely premium cable in the UK) with the imminent demise of Setanta Sports, this might make you feel better. UK president and evil stormtrooper general Marshall Zelaznik is offering up a ‘guarantee’ that you’ll be able to see UFC 99 this weekend, regardless of what happens to the terminal network.
Details on how you can watch are a little bit sketchy at the moment with ‘more info expected’ tomorrow. Am I being cynical expecting some sort of free internet stream for those who live outside the US? It wouldn’t be the first time the UFC has done something like that. That isn’t to say there aren’t other viable options … Virgin 1 has been airing the Ultimate Fighter UK vs US on Sundays and were going to show the finale a week after Setanta. And I can’t imagine Bravo would turn down the option to show UFC 99 on the cheap considering they used to be the UFC’s home in the UK. But that really depends on what Bravo considers cheap and if the UFC will accept it.
Zuffa has a hard-ass reputation when it comes to broadcast fees at home and abroad. This is a bit of an interesting scenario though where the UFC’s balls are in a bit of a vise. Are they gonna be willing to bend over and take whatever deal they can get? Zelaznik has promised UK viewers UFC 99, but a new solid UK TV deal will need to materialize sooner rather than later if the UFC doesn’t want to see all the progress it’s made over there undone.