Could the UFC be close to making a network announcement of their own?

Expect UFC president Dana White to have a few tricks up his sleeve during today’s UFC 84 press conference in Columbus.

According to MMAjunkie.com, the UFC could announce the addition of a blue chip sponsor to the fold by day’s end:

MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from a source close to the UFC that the organization will likely announce the addition of a new blue-chip sponsor.

If I was a betting man, I’d put my money on Budweiser.

While Bud would be big for the UFC and for the sport, the UFC apparently is working on a new television deal:

There have been some rumblings that the UFC may closing in on its own TV deal — one that would supplement the coverage provided by Spike TV — though we were unable to confirm the rumors.

Who could that new television deal possibly be with? Well, according to MMAPayout.com, it could be FOX:

Multiple sources have told MMAPayout.com that FOX is believed to have interest in MMA with rumors suggesting that the network even went so far as to make a bid on the UFC during recent negotiations.

It should be noted that UFC 85 in London this June has not been declared a PPV event. Reports indicate that Spike TV has been approached about televising the show, but we shall see.

That’s not the only notable MMA business development making the rounds this morning. MMAWeekly.com reported last night that Matt Lindland has signed with an unnamed upstart MMA promotion. Lindland wouldn’t name names, but MMA Weekly indicated that Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and Affliction could be on the verge of starting their own MMA promotion:

Though Lindland would not divulge his new employer’s identity, multiple MMAWeekly sources have confirmed that Affliction – a popular clothing company – is a primary partner in the deal. Sources also indicated that Affliction’s partner in the new promotion is Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions.

The new promotion could hold its first show this June in Las Vegas, according to the report. If Golden Boy is really getting into the game then you’ve got to think that HBO could be a potential television partner.

There’s no business like the MMA business.

12 COMMENTS
  • Evan says:

    This sport is getting all growns up.

    Next few years are going to be crazy.

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  • Jeremy says:

    From the way it sounded to me their announcement was going to be that Mark Coleman was being inducted into the Hall of Fame. At least to me. The special guest with Dana White I thought kind of hinted at that. The sponsorship news is definitely way more important news if it comes to fruition. As for the TV deal, we have been hearing that for quite some time now and nothing gets done, so I won’t hold my breath on that.

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  • Gabber says:

    Big Deal. Budweiser already sponsors HCF in Alberta. They even have some native american Bud truck drivers fight in the competitions. ;P I don’t get how Bud is a “blue chip” sponsor. I don’t think it nets HCF any extra viewers.

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  • Evan says:

    I am pretty sure the sponsorship dollars will be different gabber.

    Bud has a bit more class than Mickey’s.

    “They even have some native american Bud truck drivers fight in the competitions”

    Now that’s awesome!!!!!!!

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  • NealTaflinger says:

    Uh, there’s a difference between Budweiser “sponsoring” a regional promotion or Golden Gloves, etc, and partnering with the UFC, MLB, etc. It’s not about viewership, it’s about ad buys on TV and dollars to offset production costs. It also means next Christmas we’re going to see Chuck Liddell driving the Bud Christmas sleigh on TV, hahah.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Dana held back on a TV announcement just to trump EliteXC’s.

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  • Mike Wolfe says:

    So it’s official. Now some sleuth needs to figure out whether Anheuser-Busch has significant contracts with one of the major networks. If A-B does mucho business with Fox, for example, that might suggest where UFC goes for a major network deal. UFC will want to go where A-B is happy.

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  • Kelvin says:

    Watch Dana White trump the Elite/CBS deal…the announcement of Budweiser today was just to let everyone know something is on the horizon.

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  • Sergio says:

    A-B is the official beer sponsor of MLB whose only major network TV presence is FOX.

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  • Ray Jay says:

    Good to see another “real” sponsor for the UFC. I honestly cannot see ANY TV deal getting done as long as Dana doesn’t compromise.

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  • seth b says:

    so who was the special guest?

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  • Kelvin says:

    “Good to see another “real” sponsor for the UFC. I honestly cannot see ANY TV deal getting done as long as Dana doesn’t compromise.”

    Actually, get A-B on board….AND Elite signing will CBS gives the UFC more leverage IMHO.

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