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Deal to Put UFC on HBO “May Not Go Forward”

According to Variety the proposed deal to put UFC fights on premium cable giant HBO appears stalled and unlikely to move forward yet again. The deal has been in various stages throughout 2007 but since the arrest of the UFC’s biggest supporter, former HBO CEO Chris Albrecht, the deal is now unlikely to happen, at least anytime soon.

Here is part of the report from Variety on the deal:

Another of Albrecht’s proposed changes seems to be on the ropes, as a pact to bring in UFC, the mix-martial arts league, may not go forward. Albrecht had been a big champion of a deal. But HBO Sports topper Ross Greenburg and other execs have resisted, feeling it would tarnish boxing and the rest of the HBO brand.

Both plans spoke to Albrecht’s idea for the net to get younger. “We need to make sure we’re not your father’s HBO,” he said earlier this year…without Albrecht, they may get there in a very different way.

The tone of the report seems rather confident that a deal is highly unlikely unless major changes happen in negotiations, specifically on the HBO side of the deal. Expect UFC talks with ESPN to heat up very quickly unless something changes at HBO that makes them reconsider a deal on the premium cable channel.Read


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