News of a possible sale started earlier today as Brian Stelter of the New York Times reported Zuffa LLC. was seeking to acquire an ownership stake in the gaming channel.
Meanwhile, MMAFighting‘s Mike Chiappetta is reporting that sources within Spike TV have been preparing to move on for a few days now after negotiations broke down between Spike and the UFC.
Rumors of a possible rift between the two companies escalated the last few months after noticeable shifts on both sides. This included the UFC broadcasting preliminary cards on other networks and Facebook, as well as Spike TV reducing the order of episodes for this past season of The Ultimate Fighter. The deal would expire at the end of 2011 and mark the end of a six year relationship that saw the UFC and the network explode in popularity.
While Spike may lose the UFC, it does not appear to want out of the MMA scene. Sources within the company have reported that the channel may begin showing Bellator Fighting Championships as early as 2012. Bellator currently airs on MTV2, which is under the same parent company as Spike TV, and the move to Spike would put the promotion in more households in North America.
While the UFC may be purchasing G4, the company will still require a signifigant investment to get the struggling channel off the ground. One major obstacle is that G4 currently does not show on Direct TV, that could change if the UFC purchases the channel, which reduces the amount of households the UFC would show in from 99 million with Spike TV to 59 million.
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