Report: Fox offer in $200M range for UFC media rights

November 27, 2017

John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal reports that Fox has made an initial offer to the UFC in the $200 million range.  This is far less than the predicted $450 million forecasted by the previous UFC regime.

The offer was also confirmed by Darren Rovell.

In its pitch to potential buyers, the UFC stated that its media rights revenue would be $450 million with its next deal.

The current deal ends next year.  It yields an average of $115 million per year over the course of the 7-year pact.  Per the Sports Business Journal, it is seeking a 10-year deal which would place its ask at $4.5 billion overall.

The UFC and Fox had an exclusive negotiating period of 3 months prior to the promotion going on the open market to solicit other buyers.  Although the two could not come to an agreement within that window, it seemed almost expected as the new owners of the UFC would like to see what market it might have for it.

WME-IMG paid $4 billion for the UFC promotion in July 2016.

Payout Perspective:

The $200 million is a modest boost from its $115 million rights fee.  It’s not clear whether this includes any digital rights and/or any changes in its broadcast terms.  One might expect this to be an opening and see what WME-IMG might be able to do about getting other bidders for its rights.  The $450 million figure seems like an aspiration and we are not sure if the new owners believed this to be a reality.  WME-IMG are savvy negotiators and even though the initial bid is low, one might expect once other entities get in on the bidding, the price to increase.

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