Report: UFC in Talks to Acquire Controlling Interest of G4 Network

Thursday, June 9, 2011

By FCF Staff

Talk of an Ultimate Fighting Championship channel is on the rise, as both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times are reporting that the MMA promotion is in talks with Comcast to acquire a controlling interest of the company’s G4 gaming network. According to the report from the New York Times, sources have informed the media outlet that the UFC is considering taking a 60% or more ownership stake in the G4 channel.

The timing of the reports is intriguing, as the UFC and its current partner Spike TV, will conclude a six year broadcasting arrangement at the end of the year. The New York Times is reporting that negotiations between the two companies broke down after the UFC allegedly asked for a $325 million annual broadcasting fee.

While the UFC and Spike have shared numerous broadcasting successes, the television ratings for the recently concluded 13th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” were lower than expected.

The Times report furthers that Spike executives are believed to be exploring other alternatives for MMA content, including Bellator FC bouts, which currently air on MTV 2. Both Spike and MTV 2 are owned by Viacom.

G4’s current parent company, Comcast, also controls the NBC and Versus Networks, the latter of which also has a broadcasting deal with the UFC. Due to its emphasis on video games, the reportedly struggling G4 network targets the same male18-34 year-old demographic as Spike.

UFC President Dana White has publicly stated in the past that the promotion is interested in creating its own cable network.