Globo dreams of UFC like in days of Tyson; Rede TV! prepares defense

Dana White celebrating after UFC Rio 134, Saturday / Photo: Gustavo Aragão

The number 14 seems to be stalking Anderson Silva. Having beaten Okami on Saturday, his string of back-to-back wins in the UFC now comes to 14. It was on October 14, 2006, that he won the belt, never to be disposessed of it. And, at UFC Rio, his fight carried Rede TV! television network to overtake all-powerful Globo network in the ratings for a precious 14 minutes, with the greatest average audience ever achieved by the São Paulo-based network. Numerology or coincidence, Globo is already lacing up its gloves to make sure this last 14 doesn’t get repeated.

As published today by journalist Daniel Castro on R7 website, Globo now has its eyes on the profits generated by the UFC and should be getting ready to make a major investment to strip its rival of Dana White’s event. Rede has already set about preparing its defense. Network president Amilcare Dallevo Junior had dinner with Dana White and confirmed that they have priority in renewing their contract, which expires in December, but Globo is promising to invest heavily.

“Globo already studied the possibility of broadcasting the UFC last year, when the Brazil installment of the event was confirmed. There are departments within the network pushing for footage of UFC fights to be aired on the Corujão do Esporte sports show that runs late night on Saturday nights,” reported Castro.

Globo’s plan is to get in on the UFC’s promise to hold at least four events in Brazil – two in the the first half of the year and two in the latter half. At least two of them should be in UFN format, with aspiring fighters on the main card.

“By holding four UFCs in the country the broadcast rights become more costly, which favors Globo. By the same token, a partnership with Globo would lend the UFC greater exposure, which is of the promoters’ interest,” argues the journalist.

Broadcasting only the last fights of a UFC card is reminiscent of the end of the 1980s, when Globo put its money on a standoout fighter to excite the late night audience, often with Brazil’s number one commentator, Galvão Bueno, doing the commentating. That fighter was Mike Tyson, the greatest heavyweight boxer at the time.

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