Saturday, November 26, 2022

Dana White Confirms New ESPN Deal

As reported earlier today, ESPN has reached a $1.5 billion, five-year deal securing the television rights of the UFC. Wednesday afternoon, Dana White confirmed the news on Twitter, announcing ESPN will, in fact, be the new home for the UFC in 2019:

Brett Okamoto later would add via Twitter that per Dana White, UFC will maintain control over its live events broadcast on ESPN, with White praising the work of the production crew. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

With ESPN and UFC both experiencing a slump in ratings recently, the status quo for both companies did require some fixing, on the other hand. News of the deal was first reported by UFC cards are expected to appear on ESPN’s television networks as well as the ESPN+ streaming service. This deal comes fresh off the heals of Fox coming to a $1 billion deal for the rights of WWE Smackdown. Dana White also believes that ESPN has more promotional commitment and power to be very beneficial to fighters in the promotion:

“ESPN has shown its commitment to not only UFC, but MMA. The amount of promotion our athletes are going to get now, and what ESPN is doing with this new platform, it’s going to be very big for the fighters.”

What do you think? Is ESPN a Better Fit for the UFC than Fox?