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UFC Seeking to Pin Down HBO Deal

HBO said it has not yet inked a deal to distribute content from the Ultimate Fighting Championship mixed-martial-arts franchise, despite published reports to the contrary.

UFC president Dana White was quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying the organization finalized a deal with HBO to televise UFC events beginning this summer.

HBO spokesman Ray Stallone would only say that the network has “nothing to announce” regarding a UFC deal. He did confirm that the two companies have been in discussions regarding a carriage deal.

An HBO deal would be a major coup for UFC, which exploded onto the television marketplace over the past two years through its pay-per-view offerings and its original Spike TV series, Ultimate Fighter.

HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg said recently that the pay service -- which is known for its pro-boxing franchise -- said UFC has a great fan base and is “here to stay.” He added that the success of mixed martial arts has not come at the expense of boxing.