UFC President Dana White claims that the Ultimate Fighting Championship promotion is now worth $7 Billion following their TV deal with ESPN. This will now move UFC broadcast from FOX to ESPN effective January 2019.
In an interview with Tony Robbins, White said that "We just did a TV deal with ESPN for $1.5 Billion for five years. now the company is worth $7 Billion." Furthermore, White added that there is still a massive room for further growth.
Finally being recognized
There was a time in the past where the UFC President could not get a meeting with ESPN with regards to discussing potential options. Now, The sports media powerhouse had to shell out a fortune to attract the UFC away from its home on FOX.
White said that "We're going to continue to go into markets we haven't been, we're going to continue to find the best talent in the world. Continue to build the sport. It's not rocket science, it's nothing crazy, just continue to do what we do and get bigger and bigger."
He believes that the amount of exposure that the ESPN deal gives will help the promotion in terms of growth and expansion.
What this means for the UFC
Just like the sponsorship deal with Reebok, a network deal with ESPN assures that the fighters will be taken care of a little more. New deals will be shaky at first and it will take time for the fighters to embrace it until they see results.
The amount of exposure can also do better for talented MMA Fighters who are unable to sell pay-per-views as ESPN will give them more exposure through free TV. On the side of the promotion, this will also make the UFC available in places they still haven't reached because of ESPN's affiliations.
The promotion's former parent company Zuffa, LLC sold the UFC to Endeavor (formerly WME-IMG) in 2016 for $4.2 billion, making it the largest acquisition in sports history. The UFC's partnership with ESPN during the Endeavor Era has almost doubled its value.
This might be a promise of better providence for the fighters who risk their lives for the sport.
Will the ESPN deal get the fighters paid what they deserve? What new things will we expect from UFC as a promotion? Let us know your thoughts.
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