UFC On HBO; WEC On Versus - MMA Forum - UFC Forums - UFC Results - MMA Videos
UFC The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is a U.S.-based mixed martial arts organization, recognized as the largest MMA promotion in the world. The UFC is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada and is owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC. This promotion is responsible for solidifying the sport's postion in the history-books. UFC is currently undergoing a remarkable surge in popularity, along with greater mainstream media coverage. UFC programming can now be seen on FOX, FX, and FUEL TV in the United States, as well as in 35 other countries worldwide.

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Old 12-28-2006, 04:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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UFC On HBO; WEC On Versus

A few slim years ago the Ultimate Fighting Championship, nary any mixed martial arts organization, couldn’t land a television deal unless they were willing to shell out the bucks to suffocate in the latenight air alongside Tony Little and Ginsu.

Despite many promised deals and miscues, the UFC stuck to their guns and never gave in to the networks that wanted them to pay for air time, believing that they had a product that, once given a chance, could stand on its own in the ever fickle television market. Today the same networks that once shunned MMA can’t seem to get on board fast enough.

The UFC has taken over Spike TV, FSN airs both the International Fight League and Pride Fighting Championships, and the ink is still wet on Showtime’s deal to air the newly formed EliteXC. But this appears only to be the jumping off point for MMA in America.

It has been common knowledge for quite some time that the UFC has been courting HBO, the premier premium cable television network. That relationship now appears to be on the verge of consummation. In comments made to Pedro Fernandez of RingTalk.com, HBO’s Larry Merchant stated, “People look at it [UFC] as real wrestling. And next year HBO and Showtime, they both will test the waters and see if this works. I don't know what Showtime is doing, but we'll do four and see how it goes." Merchant also indicated to Fernandez that if the response is good, HBO was prepared to consider airing more than the initial four broadcasts.

Merchant is a longtime special analyst on HBO Sports’ broadcasts of “World Championship Boxing” and “HBO Pay-Per-View” alongside Jim Lampley and Emanuel Stewart.

When Zuffa LLC, the parent company of the UFC, acquired World Extreme Cagefighting, speculation was rampant that Zuffa would place the WEC on HBO. All the while, UFC president and co-owner Dana White denied those claims, continually stating that a deal with HBO was coming soon and that it would be the UFC on the premium network.

Alongside the confirmation of the UFC on HBO, various independent sources have confirmed to MMAWeekly that the WEC will not renew their deal with Mark Cuban’s HDNet and has instead opted to go with the newly-revamped Versus network. One source close to the situation indicated that the deal calls for six shows over the next year on Versus --- three shows aired live and three tape-delayed shows.

The first Zuffa-owned WEC event is set to take place at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 20th. There was no confirmation as to whether or not the event would be part of the broadcast deal with Versus, but it would only make sense considering the new ownership and the January 20th event's move from Lemoore, California to Las Vegas.

The January 20th WEC event features a headline bout between Kit Cope and “Razor” Rob McCullough for the lightweight title formerly held by Hermes Franca. The contracts of Cope and McCullough were both acquired by Zuffa when they purchased select assets from the now defunct World Fighting Alliance.


full article:MMA WEEKLY - Your #1 Source for Daily MMA News, Interviews, Multimedia, and More
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Old 12-28-2006, 05:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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this is great nothing that i love more than free mma
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Old 12-28-2006, 05:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 12-28-2006, 10:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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UFC on HBO would be sick!
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Old 12-29-2006, 01:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Wonder how that's going to screw with boxing on hbo?
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I just hope Larry Merchant doesn't become a commentator, he needs to retire badly.

Probably won't though. Jim Lampley (*main boxing commentator) has been openly against MMA for quite some time.

As far as boxing goes, it'll take all of its breath away. They'll see after they do two shows you watch. The 3rd HBO UFC PPV will do better than all of the boxing fights in that year unless it's some super freaking mega fight. Boxing has lost almost all of its steam. (Coming from somebody who used to watch boxing PPVs religiously.)
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Old 12-29-2006, 10:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I wonder how Bob Costas feels about MMA?

And I hope that Bryant Gumbel hates MMA. He's a horrible play-by-play man and he needs to stay away from doing play-by play for sporting events.

Anyway, the more MMA gets on Free TV, the better. Plus this is HBO, so we might get to see more UFC then we did on Spike TV.
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Old 12-30-2006, 11:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Beeno
I just hope Larry Merchant doesn't become a commentator, he needs to retire badly.

Probably won't though. Jim Lampley (*main boxing commentator) has been openly against MMA for quite some time.

As far as boxing goes, it'll take all of its breath away. They'll see after they do two shows you watch. The 3rd HBO UFC PPV will do better than all of the boxing fights in that year unless it's some super freaking mega fight. Boxing has lost almost all of its steam. (Coming from somebody who used to watch boxing PPVs religiously.)

I understand what you mean but ease up on ol Merch. He can be be a pain in the ass. But there are times he has me in the floor lmao with some of the shit he says. Lampley is an HBO puppet who probably has not kept up with the times and knows ZERO about MMA.

If MMA does well on Show and HBO it'll be interesting to see how these "boxing" commentators adapt. I don't expect that from the old heads like Merchant and Lampley, but the younger guys like Max Kellerman (who also can get on my nerves) still have a shot to develop their knowledge and make the transition. I don't know. We'll see eh?
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