Dana White has spoken out about the UFC’s new five-year deal with ESPN, which will see the company make a reported $1.5 billion over the next five years.
Fans and pundits have been debating the merits of the new contract over the course of the past week, and White is adamant that anybody who has anything negative to say about it is ill-informed.
“That’s what the idiots are always going to do. ‘Is it good, is it bad?’” White told MMAjunkie. “Our last deal (with FOX) was $116 million a year. This one is $300 million. If you can’t figure out that that’s good, get outta here. I’ve been in Maine blowing my brains out for three days celebrating. That’s how good it is.”
During the interview, White was able to clarify exactly how many events the UFC will be delivering during each of the five years it’s signed to the world leader in sports, confirming that there will be 12 pay-per-view shows in addition to the 15 live events that will air on ESPN, and 15 that will go out on the ESPN+ streaming subscription channel.
“That’s exactly right: 42 shows. I have the ability to make some original content for those guys too, and it’s going to be awesome. ESPN wouldn’t cover us; now we’re on ESPN. Anybody who doesn’t think this is a win, just shut up. Stop covering the sport if you think this isn’t a win.”
White also went some way to clearing up confusion as to what is going to happen with the UFC Fight Pass service and Ultimate Fighter reality show in the wake of the new deal.
“Fight Pass will be the destination where the entire library is, and you can watch whatever fight you want too or whatever other content we have on there,” White said. “So that’ll be the same. And this ESPN deal is U.S. (only). So, Fight Pass is the rest of the world.”
TUF’s future is under threat though.
“We’re coming up on the latest season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ We don’t know. It might be the last one. 13 years, ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ has gone. It’s incredible.”