The UFC and ESPN are anticipated to sit down down down on the negotiating desk to focus on a fresh broadcast rights deal in the very shut to future.
That’s based mostly entirely on UFC CEO Dana White, who acknowledged plans for those talks ahead of the expiration for the present deal that runs thru 2025. The UFC inked a lucrative seven-year deal with ESPN in 2018 that used to be reportedly price higher than $1.5 billion, which in the ruin included pay-per-focus on broadcasts.
Now, with the deal coming to a shut, the UFC will first sit down down with ESPN ahead of no doubt branching out to focus on broadcast rights with totally different suitors.
“Our deal is coming up,” White acknowledged of the UFC’s relationship with ESPN. “I deem that talks will commence with ESPN inner the next three to four months.”
Negotiations will doubtless be handled by the UFC’s guardian company at TKO Neighborhood Holdings led by CEO Ari Emanuel, who has finished a broad piece in nearly each main TV deal for the MMA group. Sooner than Endeavor taking a be taught for the UFC for upright over $4 billion in 2016, the skills company turned multi-faceted conglomerate represented the promotion as a consumer.
That included the deal to take the UFC to FOX after which in the ruin switch to ESPN.
Reside broadcast rights affords are collected at a top price factual now for networks love ESPN, especially with main streaming platforms similar to Amazon and Apple TV becoming concerned in the bidding. One Wall Avenue analyst predicted that the UFC’s subsequent TV deal might perhaps well balloon up to higher than $3 billion — higher than double the most present contract signed with ESPN.
UFC additionally has an profit in that there’s no offseason in MMA love most sports actions, so it’s a fixed driver for both rankings and promoting dollars, which is one thing nearly nobody else can provide. The dedicated fan putrid for the UFC has helped force ESPN+ increase, with the Disney-owned streaming service now boasting higher than 26 million subscribers.
Reports surfaced recently that the NFL has additionally engaged in talks with ESPN recently on a capability groundbreaking deal that might perhaps well appreciate the soccer league take an equity stake in the network. Disney CEO Bob Iger has acknowledged a total lot of times that he plans to detect capability partners to deal with a fraction of ESPN nevertheless collected take an total controlling passion.
Given Endeavor’s like a flash growth after spinning off the UFC and World Wrestling Entertainment into one merged company, it’s entirely that you can imagine a same deal with ESPN might perhaps well emerge. Alternatively, TKO president Value Shapiro has hinted on the functionality for a UFC TV equipment to get spoil up up among a total lot of networks, which is one thing leagues love the NFL and NBA attain as well.
Whatever the case, the UFC has loads riding on the future with this subsequent TV deal, which is anticipated to shut in some unspecified time in the future in 2024.