Spike TV has extended its deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. They’ll remain the exclusive basic-cable home to the league through 2011.
UFC programming remains one of the highest-rated types of programming on the network, with the audience it attracts very desirable to the network (young males).
In the agreement, Spike will get four more cycles out of The Ultimate Fighter, four editions per year of UFC Fight Nights and 39 one-hour episodes of UFC Unleashed. Spike will also be getting two seasons of a new weekly life fight series.
The deal is reported to be in the neighborhood of $100 million, though both parties declined to comment on the financial terms.
“We are paying the UFC more money than Joe Torre turned down from the Yankees,” said Kevin Kay, president of Spike TV, which picked up the UFC after World Wrestling Enterprises moved to USA Network. “The most important thing for me is we’re still in business with the UFC and we secured our future long-term with them, because I think we’re both critical to each other’s success.”
Dana White, president of Zuffa, which runs the Ultimate Fighting Championship, had the following to say: “Spike TV has really been a good partner to us,” Mr. White said. “It’s a network that hasn’t tried to stop us from growing.”