“Ultimate Fighting” Eyeing New Prey: A Cable Network

Published on June 9, 2011
by Jessica E. Vascellaro and Lauren A. E. Schuker

Ultimate Fighting Championship, which pits boxers and martial-arts specialists against each other in bloody bouts, is in talks to acquire control of its own cable network, said people familiar with the matter, as it seeks a more direct relationship with the sport’s growing fan base.

The sports organization, which popularized a new breed of fighting known as mixed martial arts, is in talks to buy control of NBCUniversal’s struggling G4 gaming network, the people familiar with the matter said.

The value of the potential transaction and size of the majority stake couldn’t be learned. For NBCU, the deal would be one of its first sales since Comcast Corp. took control of the company in January.

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