Ok, they're just sitting one seat apart at the LA Lakers game. But one has to wonder whether this is an unpleasant coincidence for White and Moonves both. Moonves of course is the man who chose to air first EliteXC and then Strikeforce on CBS, giving MMA it's American major network television debut.
White had first bite at that apple of course. But he declined, largely because Zuffa wishes to maintain its absolute control of the production and commentary during UFC broadcasts. CBS Sports, of course, had other ideas. White walked away, Moonves found a new dancing partner.
Or...and this is much more fun to think about, is it possible that Moonves is stepping out on his friends at Showtime and Strikeforce and may be publicly flirting with the UFC after the massive flop of Strikeforce's last CBS broadcast.
"The CBS deal didn't work for us. At the end of the day, listen, when you are talking about a show like ProElite or any of these other shows, they will give up their right (expletive) to get on television. They will give away everything to be on TV. ... We run a (expletive) business here. We run a business, you know? How many bad moves have I made in eight years? Not many. ... We had a five-year plan, we just finished it, and we have another five-year plan. We have a 10-year plan. When I talk about our plan it's not just for the UFC, but it's for the sport. Who else is helping us spend money and paving the way for this sport? Nobody. ProElite isn't kicking in any money to help us get all these states open and moving to (expletive) Europe and all this other (expletive). We're doing it ourselves.
These guys are just riding in the wake. The way I look at it, MMA is a big block of cheese and all the little rats are running out of the (expletive) holes now trying to get a piece." When asked what the Bud Light endorsement deal means to UFC, White replied: "People want to talk about (expletive) CBS. The only positive thing about the CBS deal is the fact that [CBS President & CEO] Les Moonves, who is a legend in the television business, is interested in the sport. That's big for the sport as a whole.