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Dana’s making TV promises again

Oh boy, we’re back to TV deal promises again. Anyone that’s been swimming in the sewers of MMA news for a long time will know that Dana gets a bit crazy with them the same way he gets a little silly promising title shots. Here’s the latest network promise:

The Ultimate Fighting Championship will be on network television within a year.

That’s the word from UFC president Dana White, who spoke to our friends at The DAM Morning Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday about the likelihood.

According to White, who suggested fans are already forced to purchase too many pay-per-view events annually, the UFC will feature four network-TV events per year.

“I guarantee you by Sept. 15 of next year, we will be on network television,” he said. “I’ll put on probably one (event) a quarter – one that should have been on pay-per-view except we’ll put it on network TV.

I’m excited, but skeptical. This isn’t the first time I’ve gone all Beatlemania over the news that the UFC will absolutely definitely have a new major TV partner ‘soon’. That’s not to say Dana White is full of shit … I just think he underestimates the schizo nature of TV networks. For every TV exec sitting in a boardroom saying “I want the UFC”, there are three or four others in the same company saying they’ll die before this scum sport full of skinheads gets on their network.

Still, the UFC is doing some smart things to try and seal whatever deal they’ve got cooking, like putting some decent firepower on their next SpikeTV card in the form of Randy Couture. Here’s Michael Rome explaining why that matters:

Finally, the UFC benefits from putting Randy on Spike. They further strengthen their relationship with Spike by giving them such a big name, and more importantly, they will keep themselves relevant by delivering a big number on free television for networks to look at. It’s one thing to bring in PPV buyrates to network meetings, it’s another to bring in a huge, current television rating. Dave Meltzer always rightly points out that it was the rating for Tito vs. Ken III that really made the media pay attention to the UFC, not the increasing buyrates. The television universe speaks the ratings language, not the buyrate language.