Dana White Reveals All On The UFC’s Next Broadcasting Deal

January 3, 2024
3 months
Dana White Reveals All On The UFC's Next Broadcasting Deal

Dana White is exploring all options as the UFC’s broadcasting deal with ESPN nears its conclusion.

The UFC signed a seven-year deal with ESPN in 2018, which gave the network exclusive rights. The deal was worth a reported $1.5 billion. The emergence of new markets and networks has given the UFC many more options. White expanded on how the UFC’s viewing figures skyrocketed during the pandemic, giving it a much bigger fanbase. The rise of YouTube and Amazon Video Prime as platforms for combat sports events is an avenue that could be explored.

White On The UFC

“You can look at some of the things Amazon’s done and think whatever [about them], but it’s all about when rights become available. That’s when you’re going to see people making big moves. Who’s going to be first to be the big, dominant player out there [in streaming sports]? I actually have been saying for a long time that I’m blown away that Netflix didn’t get into sports sooner. What YouTube did [securing the rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket] was brilliant.

“Man, we were doing fights that should have done 350,000 [pay-per-view sales], and they wound up doing a million. There was nothing else on. As technology continues to get better, the UFC continues to get bigger. We can reach more people. Back in the day, when I did this, the original deal, I’d have to go out and cut a million deals all over the world for distribution. Some would be on at different times and this and that. Now, with streaming, it’s pretty much [the] same time, same channel everywhere all over the world. Maybe there are three different ones, but this is the closest we’ve ever been to one stream,” White said 

UFC’s Potential

The UFC has undergone a lot of change. Their merger with WWE to form TKO Group Holdings, Inc became official last year. It became publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, but the share prices have yet to hit the highs people may have expected. The share price opened at $102, but it is now in the region of $80. Wall Street analyst Eric Handler expects the UFC to bounce back strongly this year. He expects the UFC’s new deal to increase its value exponentially.

“A UFC TV deal could be announced by year-end with new contract terms upwards of two times the current value,” Handler said 

Given Amazon Prime Video’s decision to enter boxing, there is a potential for the UFC to secure something similar. The network recently agreed on a deal with PBC, showing an appetite for combat sports. With Amazon Prime Video having 167 million subscribers in the US alone, the potential to reach a new audience is huge. Since the UFC’s viewing figures are higher than those of the sport of boxing, there is potential to break records. That can only be a good thing for MMA fans moving forward.

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