See that chair Dana White is sitting in?
Feel free to consider it the "Driver's Seat," because with the impending acquisition of NBC Universal by Comcast , the network television deal the UFC has long been searching for might come looking for them and White could potentially get to name his price.
Somewhere, Dana White is smiling.
While the New York Times' coverage of the pending mega-deal focuses on Comcast's potential plans to make Versus into an ESPN alternative, they miss out on the MMA part of the story.
With the WEC having recently re-upped with Versus, there is a strong likelihood that Comcast would be hesitant to rip up a deal before the ink is even dry. Given that the eventual Comcast-NBC amalgamation will be the home of both Bellator and the WEC, outlets looking to get a share of the Mixed Martial Arts pie could begin lining up for a chance to score the biggest slice of them all.
For fans, the possibility is there for MMA to gain a stronger television presence. The WEC has routinely been one of the biggest ratings successes on Versus and the influx of NBC brand power could certainly give the lighter fighters the time in the spotlight they have long deserved.
As great as that sounds—and it sounds fantastic—it's the current availability of the UFC that is really intriguing.
Imagine the NBA or Major League Baseball not having a network television deal.
Now image the battle royal that would certainly ensue if suddenly everyone wanted to get in on the action and broadcast either sport directly into your living room with regularity.
It'd be like a group of multi-millionaires all bidding on the same country estate; the price would just keep going up and up and up.
That country estate is the UFC and the multi-millionaires are ESPN, Fox, and the new kid in town, Comcast-NBC.
Combine the emergence of the sport with the availability of the biggest brand in the business, and there is a chance we'll see a serious bidding war sometime in 2010 for a UFC network deal, and Dana White will be in the "Driver's Seat."
Wherever he is, there is a smile on his face...and rightfully so.
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