by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
It was strongly rumored that the Ultimate Fighting Championship would be making its broadcast network debut on CBS when, in November, Mediapost Publications reported that the two entities were in the final stages of a broadcast deal.
Mediapost Publications is a trade publication for advertising media professionals.
That deal has yet to come to fruition. But it apparently hasn’t been dismissed.
In a media conference call on Thursday, UFC senior vice president of operations and production, Craig Borsari, when asked about CBS replied, “We’re talking to a lot of different networks right now.”
Although he didn’t confirm a specific network or give any insight into how close the promotion is to finalizing a deal, Borsari did offer a hopeful timeframe for something to happen.
“We have several events that we’re doing in the U.K. and we’re looking for broadcast partners for all of them,” he said.
The UFC reportedly has plans to return to the O2 Arena in London on June 14 and Borsari indicated that event is one that the promotion has its sites set on.
“Yeah. That’s one we’re looking at, probably in June.”
He also confirmed that, hot on the heels of a recently inked deal with Harley-Davidson, the UFC is expecting to announce more big sponsorship deals in the near future.
“We’re not ready to announce them yet, but definitely some big announcements in the sponsorship area coming very soon,” said Borsari.
The partnership with Harley-Davidson was a particularly impressive accomplishment as the company’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Mark-Hans Richer stated, “This is the first major worldwide sports sponsorship for Harley-Davidson outside the motorcycle/automotive category.”
No information was forthcoming as to when either a new television deal or sponsorship partner would be announced.