It’s been three years now since the UFC and ESPN began its partnership. By all measurable data, both the promotion and ESPN’s streaming service, ESPN+, have seen large growth.
The platform continues to host big events, such as today’s UFC London card, and is now synonymous with UFC fight nights for MMA fans. In the following article, we go back in time to revisit White’s initial reaction to the big news.
The latest news around the UFC/ESPN partnership is that there will be another price hike beginning next month. The monthly price will increase from $6.99 to $9.99.
In the past, White has insisted that he has no say in the ESPN+ subscription price.
Fans should continue to brace themselves with more increases in the long-term future, but with cards like today’s UFC London lineup, passionate MMA fans may have little choice but to continue caving.
The following article was published on this day four years ago. It is presented to you in its original, unaltered form, courtesy of The MMA News Archives.
On This Day Four Years Ago…
[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED JULY 23, 2018, 2:00 PM]
Headline: Dana White: ESPN Deal Will Take UFC To The Next Level
Author: Fernando Quiles Jr.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White is excited about the ESPN deal.
Next year, the UFC will transition from FOX to ESPN. The promotion made their FOX debut back in Nov. 2011. By the time the deal ends, UFC and FOX would’ve been in a partnership for over seven years. There’s a buzz over the UFC linking with the world leader in sports.
The new deal will see UFC air events on the major ESPN networks and ESPN+. Prelims for UFC pay-per-views will also be seen on ESPN. There will be 20 exclusive events on ESPN+, which is expected to boost the number of subscriptions for the streaming service.
White recently expressed his excitement over the deal to the Las Vegas-Review Journal:
“The deal with ESPN will take the sport to the next level. We’re becoming a global brand, and we’re able to deliver the sport to different countries — Russia, China and Brazil. We’re going to different countries to put on the biggest fights in the world. We make sure that the best fight the best. We’re not as fragmented and as broken as boxing is. We keep our events in competitive alignment, absolutely.”
Back when the ESPN deal was first announced, White expressed his enthusiasm. He believes it’s the perfect partnership as both brands are on the same page:
“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.”
White ensured fans and media members that the UFC will maintain control of the production of its shows on ESPN. White says that fans enjoy the promotion’s broadcasts and so does ESPN.
How do you think the UFC will fare on ESPN?