UFC on FOX: Changes on the way for The Ultimate Fighter and morePosted on August 18, 2011, 03:16 PM by Trent Reinsmith
Early on Thursday afternoon the UFC announced that they had signed a seven-year deal with FOX Sports. Anyone expecting a run of the mill UFC presser was in for a surprise as the UFC took over the FOX NFL set for the day. Seated at the desk were UFC President Dana White, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta as well as FOX Sports Media Group Chairman David Hill and FOX President Eric Shanks as well as FX President John Landgraf.
Before a word was spoken from the assembled management, a video was run announcing that FOX Sports was partnering with “The fastest growing sport in the world.” At the conclusion of the video, Hill was quick to recall a conversation he had with Fertitta 10 years ago. During the course of that conversation Fertitta explained to Hill that MMA would be the where boxing was then in 10 years time, which brings us to today.
The deal between the UFC and Fox will run for seven years and the first event on the deal will be held on November 12. No details were given as to dollar figures or who would appear on the first fight card.
Other highlights from the call include a complete overhaul of the “The Ultimate Fighter" franchise.” “TUF” will no longer sit on a shelf for months before airing; instead it will be shown live. Once the teams are assembled, the viewers will get to vote on who they want to see fight week to week. The show will then bring the viewer up to speed with what went on in the days building to fight night with the fighters then competing live on FX. The network will also broadcast the aftermath of the fight as the fighters deal with losses or celebrate their wins. The show will then culminate with a live finale.
Other news that came to light during the press conference; four fight cards (at a minimum) will be shown on FOX each year along with six cards on FX. "TUF" will air on FX and other FOX owned networks such as FUEL and FOX Deportes will carry UFC programming.
White also said that the changes would be made across the board as a part of this partnership, including changes to the pay-per-view. The only detail he mentioned in regard to those changes was that the current gladiator opening for the pay-per-view events would be scrapped.
In closing Hill offered the following, “If you look at where, Frank (Fertitta) and Lorenzo and Dana have taken this sport, and literally it’s that small group, and that’s the brain trust that have made it work in the last decade, imagine what’s going to happen in the next decade.”