UFC Coming to China
The Globalization of MMA Takes an Important Step Forward
In the war to globalize the UFC and make MMA the premiere sport around the world, Dana White and company have just launched a major offensive.
The UFC announced today that they had struck a deal with Inner Mongolia Television (NMTV), bringing the UFC to China for the first time ever.
Dana White had this to say:
“Obviously China is a huge market and the Chinese understand the martial arts probably better than anyone else in the world. It’s a no brainer that UFC programming will be appreciated in China, and will become a big hit for the NMTV network.”
How “big” of a hit are we talking here? Pretty darn big, if the UFC action resonates with the Chinese people at large. MNTV is a network broadcast station available in 80 million households, with the potential to reach 240 million viewers throughout all the provinces of China.
The current plan is to air popular shows like “The Ultimate Fighter” and “UFC All Access” in one to four hour blocks weekly, with an option to air recent UFC Pay-Per-Views as well. Broadcasts are expected to be province-specific, airing in the specific language of each province.
It remains to be seen how the Chinese viewing public will respond to the UFC, but it must be said that this latest step represents an important milestone in the globalization of Mixed Martial Arts. While it may be only the UFC that gets the bragging rights of scoring yet another major television deal, Mixed Martial Arts as a whole can only benefit from constant exposure to new audiences. Say what you will about the UFC and Dana White in particular, but the man and the company is focused on bringing their product to as many people as possible. And when that product is some of the best Mixed Martial Arts on the planet, it’s the sport as a whole that wins.