NBC Sale May Open Door for UFC, White Hints

By Brian Knapp Dec 16, 2009
The recent sale of NBC to Comcast, which also owns the Versus network, could conceivably pave the way for World Extreme Cagefighting and UFC programming on major network television for the first time.

“You never know,” UFC President Dana White said during a Wednesday teleconference. “It’s obviously very interesting.”

The UFC this week announced plans to air two UFC Fight Night-style shows on Versus in 2010 in a move that could help spur wider interest in the network and ultimately the WEC. The UFC’s sister promotion, home to some of the world’s premier lighter weight fighters, will hold its final show of the year this Saturday in Las Vegas.

“It’s great for the UFC, Versus and the WEC,” said White, who called Comcast and Versus “great partners” and praised them for their commitment to mixed martial arts. “It will draw a lot of attention to the Versus network to have to UFC events on there.”

No date for the UFC debut on Versus was announced.

“After the first of the year, we’ll get something locked down,” said Marc Fein, executive vice president of programming, production and business operations for Versus. “We want to maximize the viewing audience.”

White reiterated his hope to land the WEC on pay-per-view but indicated there were no plans to cross-pollinate between the two brands.

“They’re two separate companies,” he said. “Our goal has been to get the WEC on pay-per-view. There are so many dates taken, between us, the WWE and boxing. It’s a lot more than just throwing something on pay-per-view.”
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