Less than a month ago we learned that a deal between the UFC and HBO to air events that were somewhere between fight nights and numbered events was essentially a done deal. The deal was thrown into limbo when HBO President and CEO Chris Albrecht was arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend in a Las Vegas parking lot following the Floyd Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoya bout. The arrest led to his dismissal from his position at HBO.
The problem with his dismissal was that he was one of the lone lobbyists for UFC coverage at the premium cable giant. The current situation has yet again thrown the negotiations and near deal into serious doubt. Here is a comment Dana White made on the situation to MMA Weekly:
â€œItâ€™s unfortunateâ€¦ [but] we havenâ€™t come to a deal with HBO anyway. Weâ€™re still hitting that thing back and forth.”
Despite White’s neutral position, the deal appeared to be getting very close after several near agreements over the past few months. Nothing confirmed this more than last week’s MMAFrenzy.com exclusive that UFC 72 would be shown on PPV. Spike TV declined to broadcast the event setting up the potential for the first HBO event but with the negotiations stalled and both sides seemingly not close to reaching an agreement anytime in the immediate future the event was move to PPV.
I will continue to monitor the situation closely and if anything comes up I will be sure to pass along the news.