The Ultimate Fighting Championship has yet to wrap its first official year in a reported seven-year, $90 million watershed deal with FOX, but that hasn’t stopped UFC president Dana White (Pictured) from hinting that an extension with their broadcast partners could be in the works.
White’s tease comes as a bit of a surprise, as the Octagon’s last three primetime shows haven’t particularly moved the needle like most industry experts thought they would.
After capturing a solid 8.8 million viewers in last November’s debut, the numbers have steadily declined for the planet’s premier mixed martial arts promotion. UFC on FOX 2 in January garnered 4.7 million viewers, while UFC on FOX 3 and UFC on FOX 4 each notched just 2.4 million viewers.
Despite the downhill slope, which has stalled the UFC’s mission of gaining complete mainstream acceptance, White remains unfazed.
“You guys are always so focused on the ratings and all this [expletive], we’re in a long-term deal with FOX, we’re not going anywhere and we might even be in a longer term deal with FOX,” White recently revealed.
Perhaps one reason White is so optimistic about the Octagon’s future on FOX is because he’s loaded the UFC’s final 2012 show on the network with a star-studded lineup, which will be highlighted by a lightweight title tilt between champ Benson Henderson and Nate Diaz.
On a side note, the UFC has set record numbers this annual with their programming on FUEL TV, FOX’s sister station.