Dana White hoping for TV deal with FOX sister-company UK broadcaster SKY

UFC president Dana White has revealed his hope of securing a TV deal with FOX’s sister-company bSKYb (on their SKY SPORTS channels).

“Every time I get on Twitter or whatever, I see the U.K. fans, ‘They don’t care about us. They don’t care about this market,'” UFC president Dana White said. “Same thing with Ireland. Of course we do.”

But until the current TV situation changes, White can’t promise anything before the promotion’s current deal expires in August.

That’s when a contract between the UFC and ESPN’s U.K. branch expires, and as UFC managing director of international development Marshall Zelaznik previously indicated to MMAjunkie.com, more events could be on the way with a new TV partner.

Or a new deal could be struck with ESPN, which has broadcast UFC events since 2009. A U.K. event targeted for the third quarter of this year falls within the timeframe when a new deal could be struck with either network.

For now, U.K. fans have been making do with the current schedule. This past Saturday’s UFC on FUEL TV 2 aired on ESPN U.K. on tape delay, as have other events held outside the country. The station recently touted its ratings success with the UFC and expressed hope that a new deal could be struck before August.

However, the UFC seems to be focused elsewhere. Since the promotion struck a seven-year broadcast deal with FOX, White has spoken about the possibility of landing on the network’s British counterpart, Sky.

“We would love to be with FOX over the U.K.,” he said this past September. “I think that once our deals expire, we will figure it out, and we’ll get that whole U.K./Ireland piece of this thing fixed.”

But since then, White isn’t as optimistic as he used to be about seamless transition between broadcast partners, if that’s indeed the plan.

“The television deal we want hasn’t been as easy to acquire as we thought it would be,” he said following this past Saturday’s event. “We thought we could get that thing done. If you’d have asked many years ago and said, ‘Do you think you’ll be on FOX before you secure a big deal over here in the U.K.?’ I would have said, ‘There’s no way in hell. We’ll probably get the U.K. deal done first.’

“But it hasn’t happened. We’re still invested in that whole market out there, and we will get it done. We’re not going to give up on it.”

“I think that when we do land the right deal over in the U.K., everything is going to be golden over there,” he said. “It’s always the market that’s made

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