Multichannel News is reporting that HBO and the UFC have decided to end negotiations without reaching a deal:
The long-rumored distribution deal between Home Box Office and Ultimate Fighting Championship has been KO’d.
The premium service said it will not air live UFC combat sports eventson its network in the near future, ending more than a year of negotiations.
“After lots of discussion it became apparent that the business model doesn’t make sense for either one of us. So we agreed to go our separate ways,” said HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg in a statement. “You never know what the future holds. We have enormous respect and admiration for the executives we dealt with at the UFC. We wish them well.”
Nothing from the UFC on this yet. It was kind of obvious after all this time of going back and forth that neither side was budging.
Touch of gloves to Wrestling Observer for the find.
Update 10/6 10:30 AM: In an interview done with Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports late last night, UFC President Dana White says that he is still confident a deal will get done:
“We’ll come to a deal with HBO, I’m 100 percent confident of that,” White said. “Ross is probably pretty happy now, but we’ll get a deal done with them. Believe me, we will. They want the deal, I want the deal – and when two sides want the deal, it gets done.
“There’s a lot of stuff to this and these things take time. Deals are never easy to get done. They take a lot longer than I’d like.”
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