UFC President Dana White offered an update pertaining to where the company is at currently when it comes to striking a deal with a major network during Saturday’s post-UFC 91 press conference.
To make a long story short, the UFC isn’t close to a deal.
“(We are) not very close now with (the) market like this,” White responded when asked by a reporter for an update. “The economy is bad. I don’t know if anybody else in this room feels it as bad as some of the other people in this country feel it, but the economy is really bad right now. There’s no money out there. Sponsors aren’t spending as much money as they used to. Some sponsors are going out of business. It’s really scary times right now.”
Despite the state of the economy, White doesn’t believe the lack of a network television deal is going to hurt the promotion’s growth. In fact, he even believes that a network deal could hurt.
“Network deals are what’s helping put these other companies out of business,” White said, making a veiled reference to both the IFL and EliteXC. “Just because you get a network deal doesn’t mean it’s a good deal. When we get a good network deal, we’ll be on network television.”
With strong ratings on Spike TV and a stranglehold on the coveted male 18-34 demopgraphic, many are left wondering why the UFC can’t strike a deal that it’s comfortable with.
“The networks are so strong, they pretty much tell you the deal that they’re going to give you whether you like it or not,” White said. “We don’t need it. We built this company without the help of anybody. It was us and the fighters. That’s it. There was no sponsors. Nobody was running around trying to give us money. We did it on our own.”
For now, White is satisfied with the progress that the UFC has made and is secure in moving forward with the company’s current partners.
“We don’t need help from anybody at the end of the day,” said White. “If somebody wants to do the right deal with us, we’ll do it with them. Spike did. So we’re on Spike TV. Believe me, I’m happy as hell to be on Spike TV. We can stay there forever. I (couldn’t) care less.”