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 Report: ESPN Held “Exploratory Talks” for Rights to UFC

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JoeDaddy
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PostSubject: Report: ESPN Held “Exploratory Talks” for Rights to UFC   Fri 30 Mar 2007, 4:57 pm



A small story in today’s Variety confirms that subscription-cable giant HBO is still in talks with the UFC to air its events — despite recent reports that the negotiations have been going nowhere.
However, it was a small tidbit about ESPN — not HBO — that caught my attention.
Could the UFC become a mainstay on the worldwide leader in sports?
According to variety.com:


Sports leader ESPN confirms that it has held exploratory talks with the UFC to, um, fishhook some rights.
We’ve seen ESPN warm up to mixed-martial arts, and more specifically the UFC, in the past couple months. Randy Couture, for example, showed up on ESPN’s television broadcasts, as well as its Web site, after his win over former heavyweight champ Tim Sylvia at UFC 68. And more recently, an Associated Press report the detailed Tuesday’s acquisition of PRIDE Fighting Championships earned homepage placement on ESPN.com.
According to today’s report, ESPN has apparently contacted the UFC about acquiring rights. It’s unclear if that means rights to simple highlights packages or perhaps full-blown UFC broadcasts.
Could ESPN be a backup plan if negotiations with HBO continue to stall?
UFC 70, for example, takes place on April 21 and was expected to air on HBO. When a deal couldn’t be reached in time, the UFC ultimately decided to offer the broadcast on a tape-delay basis on Spike TV.
Recent reports indicate that the UFC and HBO couldn’t agree on which entity would produce the show and supply the broadcasters. HBO want to keep all production in-house while the UFC wanted to use its usual team.
One thing’s for sure, though. With Zuffa LLC (the UFC’s parent company) about to take over control of PRIDE Fighting Championships and create a cross-promotion annual mega-event, the company’s never been so attractive to potential broadcast partners.
To read the full report, head over to variety.com.
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TwisteDceL
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PostSubject: Re: Report: ESPN Held “Exploratory Talks” for Rights to UFC   Fri 30 Mar 2007, 5:06 pm

if i was the ufc, i would tell espn 2 cover more spelling bee's! a few years ago....espn laughed at the thoughts of UFC coverage! now they are jumping on the bandwagon? i can remember espn comparing the ufc 2 the wwe. maybe im just a bitter man.
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JoeDaddy
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PostSubject: Re: Report: ESPN Held “Exploratory Talks” for Rights to UFC   Fri 30 Mar 2007, 5:21 pm

i say let them come crawling chumps! but they are not the only ones that looked down opon the UFC. The cream rises to the top dont it!
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TwisteDceL
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PostSubject: Re: Report: ESPN Held “Exploratory Talks” for Rights to UFC   Fri 30 Mar 2007, 5:34 pm

JoeDaddy wrote:
i say let them come crawling chumps! but they are not the only ones that looked down opon the UFC. The cream rises to the top dont it!
hell yeah! i think ive watched every single ufc event since it came out. i actually own most of them. it just makes me sick 2 hear people say "u gotta check out this ufc stuff!". like its new.

as far as espn....i guess thats why im not a businessman. i tend 2 hold grudges
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JoeDaddy
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PostSubject: Re: Report: ESPN Held “Exploratory Talks” for Rights to UFC   Fri 30 Mar 2007, 5:40 pm

I'm Irish and a scorpio i do to ha-ha...
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PostSubject: Re: Report: ESPN Held “Exploratory Talks” for Rights to UFC   Fri 30 Mar 2007, 6:07 pm

stupid ass hbo. why the hell would you try and put up a fight to have your own "in-house" team for the broadcasts? that would be the biggest mistake for ufc. i'm glad they didn't fly with that idea. that's all we need, some wfa type commentary for wandy vs. chuck (just an example).
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PostSubject: Re: Report: ESPN Held “Exploratory Talks” for Rights to UFC   Fri 30 Mar 2007, 6:43 pm

JoeDaddy wrote:
I'm Irish and a scorpio i do to ha-ha...
thats 2 funny! im 1/2 samoan....1/2 italian....full scorpio!
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DennisN
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PostSubject: Re: Report: ESPN Held “Exploratory Talks” for Rights to UFC   Fri 30 Mar 2007, 6:57 pm

This would be HUGE for MMA. Granted the MMA fanbase has grown quite a bit over past few years (me, for example), if UFC/Pride highlights start showing up on SportsCenter, I could see the fanbase double or triple in a few more years. The more exposure, the better as far as I'm concerned.
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JoeDaddy
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PostSubject: Re: Report: ESPN Held “Exploratory Talks” for Rights to UFC   Fri 30 Mar 2007, 7:07 pm

DennisN wrote:
This would be HUGE for MMA. Granted the MMA fanbase has grown quite a bit over past few years (me, for example), if UFC/Pride highlights start showing up on SportsCenter, I could see the fanbase double or triple in a few more years. The more exposure, the better as far as I'm concerned.

I agree the point is to grow the sport and that would help tremendously...
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