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Potential deal between UFC and CBS could be stalled

Adam Swift of writes the following about a potential deal between the UFC and CBS to televise a portion of UFC 81 on February 2:

For whatever it’s worth, based on conversations between and multiple sources within the industry, there seems to be a growing belief that the UFC-CBS deal has stalled or fallen apart altogether. At the very least there seems to be an emerging consensus that the deal won’t be in place in time for UFC 81 as has been rumored.

Swift is quick to clarify that his sources are not direct parties to the negotiations and that we should take it for what it’s worth.

However, where there’s smoke, there is fire. Several sources reported earlier this month that a deal was either imminent or was on the verge of being finalized. Well, the month is almost over and there’s been no hint of an announcement.

  • Tanner says:

    God damnit dana are you actively trying to fuck the UFC over with these TV Deals? or maybe hes just trying to fuck the fans with UFC 80 being on PPV live at 3 fucking PM, charging more money for their PPV’s and not being able to complete a fucking TV deal with anyone besides SpikeTV.

  • bubbafat says:

    Does DW not realize that the window of opportunity with the writers strike will not be open forever. Make some concessions to get your sport on TV, then worry about the money. I know that may be out of character for Zuffa and it’s exec’s but look at the long term. You can’t lose.

  • Jay K. says:

    “Swift is quick to clarify that his sources are not direct parties to the negotiations and that we should take it for what it’s worth.”

    Any opinion following written after reading the above, is worth less than the effort it took to write it.

    Jay K.

    ps. I DO however, hope MMA does come to Network TV.

  • bubbafat says:

    I’m making my statements, hypothetically assuming that said article is accurate. If said article is flawed then ignore it. Otherwise, would you like some cheese with that wine.

  • gerald raines says:

    so first UFC’s talks with HBO fall apart, then UFC’s talks with ESPN fall apart according to that article on seconds out, and now UFC’s talks with CBS might fall apart according to this article on MMA payout. when do these breakdowns in talks stop being HBO’s fault or ESPN’s fault or CBS’s fault and start being UFC’s fault???

  • Evan says:


    We know none of the details and yet some are always so quick to assign blame, naturally at Dana.

  • Evan says:

    besides the fact that the UFC just got about 100 million from spikeTV.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    I agree with Evan. You know, TV can be a good thing, so long as the deal makes sense. If it’s a bad deal, the importance of TV becomes overblown.

    The IFL and EliteXC both wanted to get on TV so bad they didn’t care how. Well, if you look at their SEC filings you can see they lose money on every telecast because the content fees they receive don’t add up to their production costs. Hell, I remember that Paul Heyman wanted to get ECW on national TV and it was their deal with TNN that broke them.

    Dana has made it clear that the UFC wants any network they do a contract with to support them as a partner. From a fan’s perspective, I’d prefer a production team independent of Zuffa for UFC telecasts. But from a business perspective, the UFC would have have been able to grow to its current level without having their business partners committed to making the UFC grow.

    We don’t know the details but let me throw out this hypothetical. What if CBS told the UFC they were only going to pay them a couple million for the TV rights to UFC 81 and weren’t willing to commit beyond one telecast. And let’s say they demanded that Lesnar vs. Mir and Sylvia vs. Nogueira be on the telecast, eliminating the ability to draw on PPV that same night. Under those circumstances the UFC could be sacrificing $12-15 million in revenue without any promise of making it back in the long-term.

    Just because it’s TV doesn’t mean it’s going to make a company money.

    And from the UFC’s perspective, just because they don’t do deals with ESPN, CBS, or HBO now, doesn’t mean they can’t do them in the future. Perhaps the UFC will grow even further and command more leverage at the bargaining table.

  • Evan says:

    Another thing to consider…

    What if this is a type of deal that is keeping cable companies form carrying the NFL channel?


    What if CBS is only willing to pay the UFC 2 million for the broadcast but aren’t willing to share ad revenue? The UFC/Dana would be stupid to accept that deal. Its dumb decisions like that which cause the other MMA promotions to end up having to be put on the auction block.

    Until MMA reaches main stream big media will continue to try to bully them.


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