It was announced earlier this month that the UFC had reached a deal with ESPN for their future streaming rights in 2019 after the deal with Fox expired. That initial announcement came with the news that the UFC would be streaming content on ESPN’s digital streaming service, ESPN+.
The details regarding this initial deal include the following:
- $4.99 a month for ESPN+
- 15, 12-fight events per year, which will be referred to as “UFC on ESPN+ Fight Nights”
- Exclusive, all new-seasons of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series beginning in June 2019
- Exclusive pre and post-event shows for all 15 live events
- Access to UFC’s full archive of programming(similar to UFC Fight Pass)
- A new original, all-access series produced by the UFC
- Additional UFC-branded content, including “UFC Countdown” shows, press conferences, weigh-ins, and pre and post-shows
It has now been reported by Variety that ESPN has pulled the trigger and acquired the UFC’s TV rights as well.
This means that ESPN will now be showing 30 UFC events total per year on TV. The deal is for five years and worth $300 million annually, which will equal out to a whopping $1.5 billion. The streaming deal for ESPN+ is worth $150 million a year.
The UFC is indeed still expected to be putting on pay-per-view events regardless of these new deals. If it will be the same 12-13 amount that we regularly get remains to be determined.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/23/2018.