Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/05/08/ufc-announces-deal-with-walt-disney-company-to-provide-content-on-espn/
The UFC and the Walt Disney Company have announced a multi-year distribution agreement that will bring UFC content to Disney’s recently launched ESPN+ streaming platform.
John Ourand at Sports Business Journal broke the news and reports it as a five-year deal worth $150 million per year. That figure puts the UFC is a tremendous position to land a deal for their remaining television rights in the U.S., which they have rumoured to have been offered $200 million by Fox. The combined value of their television and streaming deals would greatly bolster their bottom line and isn’t far off the elusive figure of $450 million that had been thrown out when WME IMG (now Endeavor) purchased the company in 2016.
The agreement was officially announced Tuesday and will go into effect in January 2019, which follows the completion of the UFC’s domestic television agreement with Fox.
The deal will include 15 Fight Night events, which will be presented as “UFC on ESPN+ Fight Night”.
The agreement will also include new seasons of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series beginning in June 2019, a new all-access series from IMG Original Content, pre and post-fight shows for all the 15 ESPN+ Fight Night cards, as well as non-exclusive rights to classic UFC content, UFC countdown specials, press conferences, and weigh-ins.
There will also be 30-minute preview specials of upcoming UFC cards on ESPN’s linear channels.
The deal will not eliminate UFC Fight Pass, which will still house their archival content and will be available to purchase through ESPN+ at a separate cost.
ESPN+ launched earlier this year and is available for $4.99 per month or $49.99 (U.S) for the year.
The streaming service is not yet available to Canadians and POST Wrestling has reached out to UFC officials for clarification on how this deal with effect their Canadian rights deal and how viewers in the country can view the ESPN+ content.
The UFC’s Canadian rights are part of a package that involves TSN, which ESPN has a 20% stake in.