The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s current deal with the broadcaster was negotiated at $120 million, meaning the promotion’s financial demands stand at a price which has almost quadrupled
Jason Cruz of MMA Payout has claimed that the Las Vegas-based promotion’s ambitious price may be offputting to FOX and any other would-be suitors:
“The Sports Business Journal reports the UFC’s current state of negotiating a new media rights package once its deal with FOX is up. Currently, the new asking price of $450M per year is a stiff increase that is not garnering a lot of interest at this point.
The current deal with FOX is worth $120 million per year (with it jumping to $160 million for the last year) for the 7 year deal which ends at the end of 2018. The UFC is looking to increase its rights fee to $450 million per year. Traditional media companies appear to be wary of the hefty ask.”
The UFC is also believed to be considering the possibility of signing a deal with Amazon which would see content streamed over an all-digital platform. While this is unlikely, it is at least an option.
The UFC’s demands are hefty when considering that they may potentially have a powerful rival in the WWE when it comes to negotiating a deal:
“SBJ notes that with the WWE’s media rights deal coming up in the fall of 2019, the market and bargaining leverage might be hindered for the UFC. WWE has met with FOX earlier this summer as part of the pro wrestling company’s road show with various networks ‘to show the power of its programming.’ The WWE’s deal with NBC in 2017 is estimated at $180 million.”