It may not be as exciting as dudes punching each other in the face, but there’s a potential huge story brewing that could change the UFC forever. Their deal with FOX is up early next year, while they could easily renew their contract after renegotiating, signs are pointing to it not being so cut and dry. Even if the UFC may have dropped slightly in interest after it’s incredible 2016 year, other networks may be interested in stealing away the product from FOX. But with technology and the way we consume our content constantly changing, is it possible for UFC to rely more on streaming in the future? Absolutely, according to Dana White.
“With technology we’re getting to the point that I always dreamed about. I always sued to say, we’ll take this thing all around the world, build a fanbase, build up some talent in every country around the world, and then we’ll get to a point in time where everyone can watch it at the same time, on the same platform. We’re getting to that day. [on our own platform], on a type of Over-The-Top platform. Absolutely, [streaming services are] all about the change. When I grew up, we had channel 3, channel 5, channel 8 and channel 13, and then the channel Sesame Street was on. Those were all the channels that we had, right? Now what’s crazy about television these days — I have DirectTV and I have cable, so I have 2,000 channels right? And nothing’s on. Nothing’s on. I think we have the type of content that people will watch.”
— Dana White (@danawhite) October 13, 2017
“My kids don’t watch television. They’re 24/7 on their phone, and if they do want to watch TV, they go straight to Netflix. […] I think you really see it when you look at ESPN. Look how powerful ESPN was five years ago. What they were getting for subs; their subs are dropping, and they’re scrambling right now trying to figure it out. There’s no doubt that the internet and Over-The-Top content is where it’s all going. It’ll be interesting to see when the smoke clears who’s still around and who’s not. These kids these days consume so much information, and they just scroll, scroll, scroll. Meanwhile, they’re talking to their friends, and it’s pretty crazy. That’s why I love my content. My content works for — my content’s quick, exciting and fun to watch on any platform.” — Dana White speaking to The Wall Street Journal’s podcast.
The UFC already has Fight Pass, but this could open the door to Hulu, Netflix and even Amazon’s streaming service. What goes down early 2018 when the FOX partnership is up could end up bringing big changes that would take place over years and years. After all, the FOX deal was a seven-year agreement. Once again, the UFC is in a position to stack their cards for the end of the year to gear up for a business deal. This is something for all fans and media to keep their eye on.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/24/2017.