UFC lands elusive ESPN broadcasting deal
The UFC and ESPN announced that they have agreed to a 5-year deal to acquire the fighting promotion's rights package beginning in 2019.
ESPN announced a deal earlier this month with the UFC to start streaming fight cards on its new app-ESPN+.
This morning, they announced the second part of that deal with the UFC.
This was first reported by Variety.
The agreement will allow ESPN to broadcast 30 UFC Fight Night events a year that will include 10 main cards on their channels and 20 events on ESPN+.
ESPN will also air the prelim bouts for 12 pay-per-view cards in 2019.
Fox Sports will end its partnership with the UFC after this year. They have held their exclusive deal with the UFC since 2011.
Fox Sports recently announced they have agreed to a deal to acquire the WWE's Smackdown show.
Many scoffed when the new ownership group of the UFC, WME-IMG, paid over 4 billion for the leading promotion of mixed martial arts and word spread that they would be seeking around 400 million a year for the rights after the deal with Fox ended.
While they didn't get as much as they had anticipated, 300 million a year for five-years has to be considered a victory for the new ownership group, especially considering the stagging ratings recently for UFC fight cards on Fox.
After years of bashing ESPN for its lack of coverage of the sport, UFC President Dana White finally landed the platform that has eluded him.
Now we just have to look forward to Conor McGregor and Mickey Mouse sharing the spotlight.