A new, $100 million-plus deal between Spike TV will not only keep the UFC on the cable channel but could also have an added benefit for fans. According to reports the deal, unlike their current contract which will expire next year, may allow ESPN to broadcast UFC events in the future.
Although no deal is in place between the massive sports network and the UFC the two companies have held early talks about potentially airing future UFC events on the network. The UFC just recently began to make appearances on the network, most notably before UFC 71, with pre-event previews, event highlights, and post-fight interviews. A deal with ESPN would open another huge market for the UFC and would almost certainly push the UFC, and all of MMA, to another level.
The new deal would be very similar to the current deal that is in place between Spike and the UFC with the rumored exception for broadcasts on other networks the major change. The deal would extend The Ultimate Fighter reality series and would also include numerous live events including both PPV quality cards on tape delay as well as UFC Fight Night cards.
Although not directly affected by the new deal due to their status as a premium cable network, HBO has also engaged in numerous talks with the UFC.
The deal is not yet official but is expected to be finished soon.