‘We Gotta Get Out…’: Dana White Reveals Real Reason Why UFC Pulled Out of HBO Deal in 2007

Dana White cited HBO's demand for control over production as the reason for the failed UFC-HBO deal. Read on to know more about the same!

Published on Jul 08, 2024  |  09:15 PM IST |  55.3K
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Dana White

Dana White-led UFC stands at a $11.3 billion valuation as per a 2024 report by Forbes. However, these figures might have taken a hit if the UFC went through with the deal with HBO in 2007. Well, the UFC has been through a lot. Originally started by Art Davie, the UFC was initially a no-holds-barred fight. There were no weight classes and the fighters were not even tested for performance-enhancing drugs. 

Come 2001, Dana White took over the reins and started to rebuild the promotion from scratch. Thus, when HBO made demands to meddle with some of its productions, Dana White did not agree. But the surprising thing was that the deal was already done! 

Dana White reflects on the HBO fallout

Dana White recently sat down for an interview with FOX News. Discussing several issues, White revealed an interesting incident from 2007. He stated that the UFC signed a deal with HBO for the live broadcast of their marches and PPVs. Unfortunately, there were some conditions put forward by HBO that Dana White did not like. Alas! He moved right out of a done deal. 

Dana White said, “HBO came in and started going, ‘We’re gonna have to turn this music down, this is gonna have to—’ No. Nah nah nah no. You guys are not running our production and telling us what to do. We had already signed a deal. We were done! So I literally called Lorenzo [Fertitta] and said ‘We can’t do this deal.’ He’s like ‘What do you mean we can’t do this deal, the deal is done.’ ‘We gotta get out of this deal.”

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Meanwhile, White did seem to do the right thing by backing out of the HBO deal. And now, eyeing a PPV event at The Sphere, Dana White is promising to take UFC to heights that it never reached. 

Dana White promises to overshadow NHL

UFC 306 is set to take place at the iconic Sphere. According to a revelation, Dana White has invested $16 million in The Sphere event. Thus, quite expectedly, White is excited about the spectacle. Apart from promising great matchups, White has also commented about the attendance. He compared it with the NHL draft which had 14,220 spectators attending.

White stated that this number will be nothing once UFC 306 concludes. In White’s words, “That's gonna be like fucking kids playing with crayons compared to what we're gonna do. Literally, kids playing with crayons.”

Thus, with big promises made, it will be interesting to see how UFC 306 performs at The Sphere.

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ALSO READ: Dana White Provides Update on UFC’s Next Broadcasting Home With Promotion Set to Hit Open Market; ‘I’ve Had Some Headbutting…'

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About The Author

Debmallya Chakraborty, a senior journalist at PinkVilla, has been deeply involved in UFC since 2015, transitioning from an observer

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