It's officially "official."
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) today (Aug. 18, 2011), in a joint press conference with FOX Sports, announced a multi-year broadcast deal with the mainstream television network that will bring live UFC programming to the FOX network as early as Nov. 12 of this year.
A location and fight card for the Fall event were not disclosed.
“We’re excited to be part of the FOX family,” said UFC President Dana White in today's release. “The UFC is finally where it belongs on the number one network in the country and aligned with the most prestigious sports properties in the world. I’ve always said that the UFC will be the biggest sport in the world and with this relationship it will become a reality.”
The announcement ends days of speculation regarding the new home for the Zuffa brand of mixed martial arts, which was previously stationed on Spike TV since early 2005. That deal expires at the end of this year, paving the way for UFC programming across several of the FOX network channels.
Details after the jump.
Broadcast deal is for seven years.
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) series will undergo a change in format to include weekly live fights.
Four live events on FOX.
32 shows on the FX channel including two seasons of TUF and six "Fight Night" specials.
Pre and post-fight shows for all the pay-per-views on Friday nights.
Additional programming including "Unleashed" and "Prelims" will move to Fuel.
No speedos allowed on FOX .
"UFC’s growth over the past decade is nothing short of phenomenal and it has become one of the marquee sports in this country," said John Landgraf, President and General Manager, FX Networks. "There is a reason for its rising popularity. It features some of the greatest athletes in the world, and we believe it will be a terrific addition to our schedule and look forward to our relationship."
There you have it, Maniacs. The UFC has landed on FOX. What's your first impression? Do we have to worry about over-saturation? Or is it going to help bring fresh faces to the sport?
For updates and highlights from today's historic press conference click here.