During today’s media conference call, UFC president Dana White confirmed that the two UFC events to be aired on the Versus network in 2010 will be UFC Fight Nights similar to the events normally broadcast on Spike TV.
White addressed the press along with Versus executive Marc Fein to discuss the network deal announced earlier this week between UFC-owned Zuffa and the Versus network. The deal puts two live UFC events on Versus during 2010, along with seven events from the UFC’s sister promotion, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC).
Which events are still left to be determined, but White promises that they will not be watered-down shows.
"This will be a Fight Night," White said. "It will be like a Fight Night card … We have some big plans, but the first card we put on Versus, it’s going to be a good one."
Whether or not that rules out UFC events that are held overseas — including UFC 110 in Sydney Australia on February 21 — and then aired in the States via tape-delay remains to be seen. Versus executive Marc Fein pointed toward the new year for a timeline on when more decisions will be made, including which day of the week the UFC events would air.
"I wouldn’t say there’s one given night," the partners are looking toward, Fein said. "We just want to make sure whatever night we pick maximizes ratings. ... If it cranks out the attendance and maximized viewership, that’s where we’ll land."
White also didn’t shy away from questions regarding a potential deal to air UFC events on a major U.S. network. Comcast, the parent company of the Versus network, recently merged with NBC Universal.
"Comcast and Versus have been great partners for us," White said optimistically. "They have some interesting things going on. … You never know."
And what of Zuffa’s long-running plan to push the WEC into Pay-Per-View (PPV)? It might come with cross-promotion, believe it or not.
"Absolutely," White said. "Our goal has been to get the WEC on Pay-Per-View this whole time. … The hard part about it is that there are so many dates taken, you know, between us, the WWE and boxing. It’s tough to find dates, or trying to line up fights. It’s a lot more than just throwing something on Pay-Per-View. There’s a lot of work and planning that are involved in it, but our goal is to put a WEC fight on Pay-Per-View."