Fox Sports Media Group and the UFC held a joint press conference today in Los Angeles to announce the formation of a landmark partnership that could revolutionize the world of mixed martial arts. In attendance was Fox Sports Media Group Chairman and CEO David Hill, Co-Presidents and COO's Randy Freer and Eric Shanks, and FX President John Landgraf, alongside UFC President Dana White and UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta.
An incredible amount of information about the deal was covered over the span of the press conference, and MMA Nation has compiled a running list.
‘UFC on Fox' Basics:
- The deal covers seven years.
- Monetary terms will not be released, but the agreement is estimated to be worth $90 million per year.
- Dana White: "This is it for me. This is what I always wanted."
- Lorenzo Fertitta: "We had every major broadcaster vying for these rights."
- Fertitta says he'd always hoped that it would be Fox when they started out in 2001, "It was pretty simple from our standpoint to see what the right home for us was."
- White: "I consider this to be a fresh start."
- Attracting and keeping advertisers will not be a problem. Says Hill, "We would not have gone into the deal if we hadn't canvassed large group of advertisers who are 100 percent behind it. There might be one or two companies that have got a 'do not buy.' There is a hell of a lot more who have a 'do buy' on this sport."
- According to Landgraf, "there is an 80 percent overlap between fans of the UFC and FX viewers."
- There will be intensive cross-promotion between UFC and FOX's programming, likely including NFL, NASCAR and MLB broadcasts.
- According to MMA Nation Senior Editor Luke Thomas, "Fox deal does NOT affect online distribution deals to Roku, Yahoo!, XBox or UStream. Nothing changes."
- Fox will take over production on pre-and-post event shows, but the UFC will maintain their production handle on actual events.
- There will be massive changes to event production, including pay-per-views. Says White, "We want to take everything to the next level."
- That means no more gladiator man/"Face the Pain" combo. Says White, "We're gonna change everything, graphics, show openings for pay-per-views and fight nights. We're going to enhance the look and feel. The gladiator opening is going away."
- The UFC will broadcast 32 events a year on Fox-owned networks: four large scale promotions on Fox, six ‘Fight Nights' on FX, and 24 live TUF fights. However, two of those TUF events will air as part of the six 'Fight Nights'.
- Lorenzo Fertitta: ‘Big events on Big Fox', 'We're going to deliver big fights.'
- Big network events will likely include championship fights.
- First big Fox broadcasted event will be held on November 12th, directly competing with Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez III.
- White: "The date was a coincidence."
- November 12th event will be held at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT in Anaheim, California.
- Live event prelims, UFC Unleashed, UFC Primetime, UFC Knockout series, and Best of Pride episodes will be broadcasted on Fuel.
- Extensive UFC coverage set for Fox Desportes as well.
The Ultimate Fighter:
- The Ultimate Fighter will move to FX.
- Each episode will be filmed weekly, culminating into a Friday night live broadcast that serves as a pre-show for the episode's live fight.
- Coaches will hold their own training camps during the filming of the season, and will fight on the finale.
- Following the conclusion of the episode, viewers will be able to vote for next week's match-up via text.