If the reports are true, we could be seeing more and more UFC fighters on ESPN Networks in 2019.
According to USA Today, ESPN has agreed to commit $1.5 billion over the next five years to broadcast and stream live UFC content on its family of networks.
The deal will feature 10 full UFC fight cards along with prelims for 12 UFC pay-per-view events to go along with more than 30 events airing via broadcast and streaming outlets. It is expected to go into place January 1.
A previous report this month came out in which ESPN agreed to pay $750 million for the contract, but the new one has added 27 events to the original deal.
FOX Sports has carried UFC events since 2011, including “Fight Night” cards and prelims for pay-per-views. The UFC added UFC Fight Pass for many international events.
In a release detailing the agreement to broadcast events on ESPN+, executive Kevin Mayer said “We look forward to providing UFC’s enthusiastic, growing fan base with a wide array of live events and building a lasting relationship with the industry leader in mixed martial arts.”
UFC president Dana White added “I couldn’t be more excited to partner with The Walt Disney Company and ESPN on an agreement that will continue to grow our sport. UFC has always done deals with the right partners at the right time and this one is no exception. We will now have the ability to deliver fights to our young fan base wherever they are and whenever they want it. This deal is a home run for ESPN and UFC.”