Promoted to the front page by David Bixenspan.
An article in USA Today mentioned Dana White recently meeting with Vince McMahon. Besides Dana referring to Vince as "the guy that basically created the pay-per-view market," the piece lacked any details, speculation, hints, or elaboration. The writer, Dan Gelston, left the bait out there for the MMA community, and it was bought – hook, line and sinker. Just two sentences intended to show off Dana’s outside the box approach turned out to be the most intriguing news of the week.
The hardcore fans have been going back and forth with possible topics the two mega-powers would meet about. The article left everything to the imagination, so MMAFightling.com’s Ariel Helwani asked Dana about the meeting in an exclusive interview:
For those who can’t watch, the only thing he gave out was that it was both business and personal. Some of the things fans have come up with are off the wall, while pro-wrestling news sites – infamous for posting blind guesses disguised as bits from “insider sources” – claim the meeting was about Brock Lesnar. Comment sections and message boards have been analyzing every word in the USA Today article and the video looking for context clues. So what can be deduced from the little bits that have been given to us?
(The following is my pure guesstemation, inferred from only what’s been mentioned in the article and video.)
It’s my belief that Dana White and Vince McMahon met about television distribution.
If you look and listen closely, the mentions of the meeting were preceded by mentions of broadcasting rights. Both the UFC and WWE are interested in creating cable channels that would exclusively feature their product. McMahon has been trying to establish one for the last few years, while White spoke on the subject just a few months ago. They’re in similar situations: hundreds of hours of product that span the history of their field, trying to get a channel off the ground, dealing with networks (especially NBC), and how to structure discussions with Spike TV.
The latter seems to be overlooked in the mentions of the story. The WWE has experience with leaving the Viacom subsidiary because of their jump to Universal in 2005, so it could be a case of Dana looking for tips to emulate Vince’s exit strategy when the UFC’s deal expires this year. (Again, this is all just pure speculation.)
In any case, Dana White asking Vince McMahon for business tips is newsworthy, even if we don’t exactly know why yet.