UFC strikes deal with ESPN, live events and original UFC content coming to ESPN+ next year

Dana White, UFC President, ESPN

The UFC and ESPN have reached a new deal, per a joint release from the two parties (via MMAJunkie).

Starting in 2019, the UFC will begin streaming content on ESPN+, ESPN’s new streaming service, which costs $4.99 a month. The deal will include 15, 12-fight events per year, which will be referred to as “UFC on ESPN+ Fight Nights.”

The UFC’s move to ESPN+ will also include:

  • Exclusive, all new-seasons of “Dana White’s 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, much like 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

“I couldn’t be more excited to partner with The Walt Disney Company and ESPN on an agreement that will continue to grow our sport,” UFC President Dana White said of this deal in a statement. “UFC has always done deals with the right partners at the right time, and this one is no exception. We will now have the ability to deliver fights to our young fan base wherever they are and whenever they want it. This deal is a home run for ESPN and UFC.”

At present, there’s no word on what this deal means for the future of UFC Fight Pass, though it would certainly seem a little redundant to subscribe to both services. It’s also worth noting that the UFC still needs to find a television broadcast partner, as its deal with Fox is nearing its conclusion.

Stay tuned for more updates on the UFC’s deal with ESPN as they emerge.

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/8/2018.