Dana White revealed that Vince McMahon prevented the UFC from getting onto NBC & USA Network over a decade ago.
While speaking with Donald Trump Jr. on the Triggered Podcast, White shared a story of McMahon blocking a deal for the UFC when they were in talks with NBC Universal.
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) November 3, 2023
White said he and Lorenzo Fertitta flew to meet with McMahon, who had the power to stop the deal from going through and told the two he didn’t want them on the USA Network and rejected their pitch. This would have been several years after McMahon reportedly gave Spike TV the green light to run The Ultimate Fighter immediately following Raw on Monday nights.
White didn’t list the time frame but noted that after the deal with NBC Universal fell through, they joined Fox, which would put this around 2011, which is the year they signed a seven-year deal with Fox.
During this period, there were reports of UFC being in negotiations to invest or outright purchase the G4 cable network from NBC Universal – a deal that never materialized.
After UFC signed with Fox, they held their first live event on the network in November 2011 featuring a heavyweight championship fight between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos. UFC remained on Fox through the end of 2018 before signing with ESPN for their U.S. domestic media rights.
White stated that now that they are partners in TKO, McMahon is a great partner.