Report: ESPN to pay for additional UFC media rights valuing overall deal at $1.5 Billion

May 22, 2018

Variety reports that ESPN has added additional events to its agreement with the UFC which now values the overall deal at $1.5 billion over the course of the multi-year pact.

The latest news all but ensures that Fox, which secured the rights to WWE’s Smackdown on Monday, is done with the UFC after its 7 year runs at the end of 2018.

According to the Variety report, the deal adds 15 more fights to the existing deal for a total of “30 fights” covered under the overall deal.  Presumably, when they mean fights, it refers to events rather than just an individual fight on the card.

In April, the UFC and ESPN+ reached a deal for the promotion’s digital rights for $750 million.  This deal, which seemingly worked in lockstep to the WWE deal announced Monday, is for events on ESPN’s linear channels and ESPN+.  The UFC will still have PPV and its Fight Pass streaming service.

Payout Perspective:

The new report indicates another $750 million for the remaining media rights of the UFC.  The $1.5 billion figure over a 5-year period means the UFC will receive approximately $300 million a year over the course of the accord.  This is a very good deal for the UFC when you consider that they were being offered $175-$200 million for media rights (although its not clear if that included digital rights).  While it might not be as robust as the WWE’s latest deal which has them receiving money from NBCUniversal and Fox, it is a grand improvement on their last deal with Fox.

Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post a comment.