The short story...
The deal is for 7 to 8 years on Fox, FX and the Fuel channels. FX will take the role of Spike and host The Ultimate Fighter.
This is huge to say the least. Fox will be airing 4 events per year on national broadcast television. This will be enormous for MMA.
In the past we have all been subjected to a horrible EliteXC show featuring Kimbo Slice fighting James Thompson. That was not a good representation of the sport to the uneducated viewer. Kimbo Slice is a poor example of a mixed martial artist. And James Thompson was a bottom-tier fighter his entire career.
The other network broadcast was the Strikeforce event headlined by a good fight between Jake Shields and Dan Henderson. This unfortunate event I believe hurt MMA in the mainstream due to Team Gracie fighters Jake Shields, Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz and Gilbert Melendez attacking Jason Miller during the post fight interview. This debacle makes the casual fan think MMA is fake wrestling. The more dire consequences of this debacle make politicians and members of sanctioning committees see MMA has a bloodsport. I think this event alone could be a reason why New York has yet to sanction MMA.
I see this as a huge step to making MMA mainstream. The UFC to me is the major leagues of MMA. Their events are well planned and executed. Their live broadcasts rarely have technical issues. Their fighters are the best in the world. The UFC is what the uneducated viewer and the politicians need to witness. Not terrible fights between terrible fighters or a brawl on national television. They need to see a professional, polished organization with top level competition.
I am excited for the future.