HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: UFC President Dana White speaks during the UFC on Fox: Velasquez v Dos Santos - Press Conference at W Hollywood on September 20, 2011 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Sports fans love sports rivalries.
The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees go to war a couple of times a year, as do the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys? There's a pretty good chance someone in the stands will lose their life on that day.
Now imagine you had to buy a pay-per-view (PPV) to see any of those games happen.
That's pretty much how it goes down in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). You can get your fair share of free fights on a number of network television stations, like FOX, FX and FUEL TV, but for the big-time match-ups, like Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans at UFC 145 on April 21 in Atlanta, Georgia, you have to shell out an average of fifty bucks.
But for how much longer?
UFC President Dana White, along with the Fertitta brothers, was instrumental in bringing the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) to network television and even envisions a day in the not-to-distant future where there are no more monthly PPV events.
Those comments (via MMA Weekly) after the jump.
"Yeah, I do believe there will be a day when there probably isn't pay-per-view. With this Fox exposure, we're only a few months into this deal, but yeah, as we continue to put on shows and showcase talent over the next several years, the fan base is going to grow bigger and bigger and bigger. As the landscape in television continues to change - a lot of people believe everything is gonna go to the internet. Like, now, when you buy your cable, and there's basic cable and you can add other stations. We're probably gonna get to a point where you can just pick exactly what you want. I want this channel, I want that channel, and I want that one, and that's it. It's very interesting to see where all this goes over the next several years, but I think the UFC is definitely gonna be a power player in the sports world."
As cable and satellite providers continue to embrace the power of the internet, as well as incorporate its capabilities into their programming options, the UFC could become just another channel.
Or it could become something else entirely.
It's still too early to tell when and if the world's largest fight promotion puts the PPV model out to pasture, or even how, but it's got several years under the FOX umbrella to figure it all out.
Anyone want to play Nostradumbass and predict the future of televised fighting?