A new report suggests that ESPN have won the battle for the UFC’s broadcasting rights in a deal that would extend their investment in MMA’s leading organization to $300 million a year.
According to a report from variety citing sources close to the situation, ESPN have secured a 5-year deal that sees them win the rights to broadcast 15 live UFC events per year on the channel.
ESPN previously won the bid for the UFC’s digital media rights, enabling them to live stream another 15 events on it’s ESPN+ subscription platform, so in total they will be airing 30 events across their network per year, in addition to other UFC-related programming, for a total $1.5 billion investment over the 5-year deal.
That still leaves the UFC with the rights to do pay-per-view broadcasts and as things stand it appears they are likely to continue with a full slate, which would likely lead to a total of around 42 events per year.
With the UFC now poised to go all-in with ‘The Worldwide Leader In Sports,’ that means an end to their relationship with FOX Sports, having more than doubled the amount of money they were paying out during their current seven-year deal, which will conclude at the start of 2019.