UFC President Dana White and Spike TV President Kevin Kay announced yesterday that their two organizations have agreed to a four-year television contract extension that lasts up until 2011.
Essentially, the deal ensures that The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) mixed martial arts reality series remains a staple on the cable television network. In fact, two seasons are slated for 2008 and 2009 (four total).
In addition, one new installment of TUF will air in 2010 and 2011 (two total). During the single seasons in 2010 and 2011, however, a new fight series that is currently in development will be introduced and be featured along with TUF.
White also mentioned that there will be 12 UFC Fight Night events guaranteed throughout the duration of the contract – four each year. There could be more added depending on certain circumstances (i.e. Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock III).
"Unleashed" will also be in the forecast – all 39 one-hour episodes of them. Spike TV will run 13 per year in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Here's a snip from White:
"With the tremendous success and the record ratings we have achieved over the years, I am very happy to have Spike TV as UFC's cable partner. I am excited to continue our relationship with the team that has supported UFC from the very beginning, and to have even greater success with all of our UFC programming on Spike TV."
There was no real news on the ESPN or HBO fronts. At the moment, White seems content with the SpikeTV deal and the sporadic coverage the "Worldwide Leader in Sports" provides leading up to major pay-per-view (PPV) events.
He is confident that a deal with HBO will happen in time.
For the actual audio of this announcement head over to "Mr. Sunshine."