Under the deal, which begins in January 2019, ESPN will stream live and exclusive coverage of 15 UFC events via its new ESPN+ direct-to-consumer service, as well as providing additional supplementary programming across its family of TV, social and digital platforms. "UFC has always done deals with the right partners at the right time and his one is no exception".
Stay tuned for more updates on the UFC's deal with ESPN as they emerge. Fox's current deal with UFC - in which it annually broadcasts four events on its main network plus a number of other events on its Fox Sports 1 cable channel - expires at the end of the year, and no announcement about the network's continued involvement with UFC has been made.
Neil Best first worked at Newsday in 1982, returned in 1985 after a detour to Alaska and has been here since, specializing in high schools, college basketball, the National Football League and most recently sports media and business. "We will now have the ability to deliver fights to our young fan base wherever they are and whenever they want it", he said in a statement.
There is going to be a new home for the UFC in 2019 and that new home is going to be the Walt Disney Company and ESPN.
After an active period of negotiations, the UFC has landed a major media partner in a new multi-year deal with ESPN, which will showcase the sport on its new direct-to-consumer subscription service. ESPN has committed to pay $150M per year over five years as part of the deal, which is expected to be announced formally today. "You can see all of the blueprints and be taken through all of the plans, which they did".
Although the press release issued by the UFC doesn't say how much the deal is worth, a report from Sports Business Daily says the deal is worth $150 million annaully. The price point of $5 a month was an additional bit of incentive, he said.
The streaming service will also carry new episodes of "Dana White's Contender Series", "UFC Countdown", weigh-ins, press conferences, pre- and post-fight shows, and an original all-access series.
Linear and digital programming covered in the deal includes an exclusive, 30-minute special previewing upcoming bouts, hundreds of hours of UFC library programming, and re-airs of past pay-per-view events.
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