MMA Payout Year in Review: No. 4 – ONE making moves, signs media deal with Turner

December 30, 2018

ONE Championship made its presence known in the latter half of 2018 after it signed Eddie Alvarez, “traded” Ben Askren for Demetrious Johnson, Sage Northcutt, hired Miesha Tate as an executive and signed a media rights deal with Turner.

The Alvarez was the first big signing for One in October.  The former UFC lightweight champion weighed his options after his UFC contract ended and decided to sign with One.  It was a surprising move with the potential for The Underground King to go back to Bellator and compete in a talented lightweight division.  He’d also be closer to home fighting presumably in North America.

The acquisition of Demetrious Johnson came in the form of a “trade” with Ben Askren going to the UFC.  There was also the hiring of Miesha Tate as an executive for the Singapore company and then Sage Northcutt was signed by One after the UFC decided not to re-sign him.

ONE has come into question for its valuation of its finances as it has received a considerable amount of capital for a young company.  ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong responded with a post about how it raised $250 million from blue-chip investors.

ONE also came through with a media deal for 2019 which will allow North American viewers to watch ONE via a deal with Turner Sports.  The deal will include ONE on Turner’s B/R Live streaming service and TNT.

The first ONE show on Turner airs on January 19, 2019, the same day as the UFC’s debut on ESPN.

Also, a sidenote, it’s the same day as Manny Pacquiao’s next fight as he faces Adrien Broner on Showtime PPV.

This could be a new era for ONE as it extends its reach with the Turner deal.  Will this foster competition with the UFC?  Or are they going to compete on a secondary level with Bellator?  With its recent round of financing it looks like ONE is in spending mode and we will see how much MMA fans want to adopt.

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