It looks like the UFC is keeping options open once the Fox broadcast deal is over.
In a podcast interview with The Wall Street Journal, Dana White confirmed that the UFC may not appear on cable network television once the deal is over in 2018.
Absolutely, that stuff is all about to change. When I grew up, we had Channel 3, Channel 5, Channel 8 and Channel 13. And then the channel Sesame Street is on. Those are all the channels that we had, right? […] I think that we have the type of content that people will watch. Not every fight that I put on is a mega fight and a fight that spills over into the mainstream, but I’ll get those twice a year. That’s why I love my content, My content works. My content is quick, exciting and fun to watch on any platform
White also emphasizes the fact that television is not a popular means of entertainment amongst American youth anymore, referencing his own children and the fact that they do not watch any TV as they spend most their time using phones and computers as a source of entertainment. This reflects on the previous points he made about change.
Furthermore, White believes this deal makes a lot of sense as the UFC has always produced their own content, in contrast with major leagues such as the NFL or NBA who’s content is produced by their broadcasting network. He also states his confidence in making an eventual move to a digital platform as he believes fighting is a sport that can be understood internationally.
Fighting, it works everywhere, all across the planet, Now with technology, we’re getting to the point I always dreamed about. I always used to say, ‘We’ll take this thing all around the world, build a fanbase, build some talent in every country around the world and then we’ll get to a point in time where everybody can watch it at the same time — on the same platform.’ We’re getting to that day.
You can watch the full podcast below: