The recent success of the UFC on Pay-Per-View, which is now averaging more than 400,000 buys per event, is raising the eyebrows of big-whig corporate television executives across the nation.
In particular, those who work for cable titan HBO. Oh wait, "It's Not TV, It's HBO!"
Seems like the UFC is out punching "Boxing After Dark" in the ratings, as well as in popularity among the most desired demographic: men of the age 18-49.
I think these guys are starting to realize that the UFC is walking away with large chunks of its PPV dollars and audience, and there isn't much that they can do about it.
C'mon, Oscar De La Hoya or Matt Hughes? It's not even close.
UFC President Dana White has gone on the record of late, indicating that a major deal with HBO and domestic beer sponsorship are "coming soon."
Although an HBO network spokesman said there is "nothing happening" in that regard, it certainly does make sense.
Or, is it cents?
Despite an underwhelming UFC 61: "Bitter Rivals" result in the Octagon, it was a huge success in terms of profit outside of it. In fact, UFC reportedly drew a live gate of $3.5 million and a projected 500,000 pay-per-view orders.
Whatever happens, we should expect the UFC to land another television contract, whether it's with HBO or not.
It's just way too good – and way too popular – to keep on the same old path it's on now.