Dana White has announced a groundbreaking deal with ESPN. Not only will the UFC be broadcasting events on various ESPN platforms, but now ESPN will be the exclusive home of the UFC’s pay-per-view services.
Dana did an interview with Megan Olivi to break the news. “These guys came in, kicked the tires, looked under the hood. They liked what they saw. Now we’re going to go with them with everything,” said Dana. “We are exclusively with ESPN. When we were with everybody we couldn’t even offer discounts on pay-per-view and things like that. You’d have to get the approval of all these different groups. Now it’s a one stop shop. ESPN’s going to be able to bundle ESPN+ plus the pay-per-views. It’s not all worked out exactly how it’s going to go down, but this is amazing for UFC fans.”
This announcement comes three months into the new deal the UFC inked with ESPN in 2018. It was widely considered a poor decision for the UFC to double down on the PPV industry, despite dwindling buy rates. However, Dana announced along with the media rights, the UFC has extended their deal with ESPN to 7 years.
Dana White seems genuinely excited for the expansion of their deal. This deal likely came together as a byproduct of increased viewership numbers on ESPN broadcasts, compared to that of the UFC’s previous home, Fox Sports 1. It is unsure what fans and fighters can expect from this deal, however in the words of the UFC President, “What we do with these guys in the next 7 years is going to be ridiculous.”