In 2011, the UFC and Fox signed a multiple year television deal that saw the promotion air a variety of events through the Fox broadcasting family of channels (Fox, FX, FXX, Fox Sports 1 & Fox Sports 2).
However, the negotiating has begun for a new TV deal for the UFC and Fox, because the contract they currently have will expire in 2018.
A hitch has come up in the talks now because the exclusive negotiation period between the UFC and Fox has now concluded. That now means that the UFC is now free to negotiate a future television deal with any networks that they choose.
Damon Martin, who writes for UFC.com and others, posted on Twitter that the exclusivity deal has ended and that Fox is now looking to see just how much others are willing to bid for the UFC’s television product.
The exclusive negotiating period between the UFC and FOX has ended. The UFC can now field offers from any and all bidders on TV rights.— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) October 3, 2017
This was pretty much expected all along. It's likely FOX will see what others are bidding on the UFC before they counter with another offer https://t.co/KuRjSavOPi— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) October 3, 2017
Reports previously suggested that the UFC got around $90 million a year from Fox in the initial deal and that number is expected to climb with whomever the promotion signs with next.
Previously, the UFC had aired events on Spike TV and Fuel TV, but Spike TV now owns and airs events from Bellator MMA.
There is no timeframe for when a new TV deal could be announced by the UFC, but 2018 is going to be a big year for the promotion.