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Multichannel News report on ESPN and UFC goes public

The Multichannel News report we referenced yesterday that indicated the UFC is in talks with ESPN in regard to live programming is now available on the Multichannel web site.

The article makes the following claim:

But Spike may not be the only cable network offering UFC content. The organization is in discussions with HBO, and has had preliminary discussions with ESPN, about securing a distribution deal for additional live events and other UFC content, according to executives from both networks. ESPN, for one, has stepped up its coverage of the UFC, televising the weigh-in of the May 26 UFC 71 main event bout between Chuck Lidell and Quinton Jackson, profiling the UFC on the cover of ESPN the Magazine and televising highlights of UFC events on its signature SportsCenter show. UFC executives could not be reached for comment at press time.

Several months back I wrote a feature on what a deal between the UFC and ESPN would look like. If I get time in the next few days I will revise the article and post it here.

  • says:

    The report has been live on the multichannel news website for several days. I blogged about this over the weekend but the text of the article makes me wonder about whether the talks with ESPN are new or if they are simply refering to the talks the companies have publicly acknowledged in the past.

    I think the most important part of the report is that it seems Spike’s new contract with the UFC will allow another cable network (presumably ESPN) to air events. Their previous contract was exclusive and this one, appears, to not be as it will allow some other broadcasts on cable but not on Spike.

    Once the deal is finalized and a press release is issued it should be clearer but right now it seems like the new deals should really be optimal for allowing the UFC to continue to grow and expand.

  • says:

    thanks for the information. i think that would be great if espn and ufc could reach a deal to televise more. that would help in the marketing and ever growing of this great sport.


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