Wednesday, May 23, 2018

(Sports) UFC and ESPN Reach a Massive Deal.

ESPN and the UFC have agreed to a five-year deal that will bring the mixed-martial arts league's entire rights package to ESPN in 2019, according to ESPN and multiple reports.
This new agreement follows a deal announced earlier this month between ESPN and UFC. The entire package will cost $1.5 billion over five years.
Variety first reported on the agreement early Wednesday morning.
The deal consists of 30 UFC Fight Night events per year, including 10 main cards on ESPN's television networks. The other 20 will stream on ESPN+, the company's newly launched streaming service.

UFC Fight Night events consist of 12 bouts.
Additionally, ESPN networks will air preliminary bouts prior to 12 pay-per-view events in 2019.
Fox Sports, the UFC's exclusive rights partner since 2011, was originally interested in staying in business with the UFC until NBC declined its option to match for WWE's "SmackDown Live" and Fox won those rights instead.
The domestic television deal with ESPN should bring further stability to the UFC's profits, as it has historically relied heavily on a pay-per-view model. That model is volatile, due to the possibility of proven stars losing or retiring and injuries, among other factors.
ESPN's Brett Okamoto and Darren Rovell contributed to this report.