The UFC and ESPN announced a “groundbreaking agreement” Tuesday morning.
The promotion and ESPN reached a multi-year media rights agreement for exclusive live UFC content on ESPN+ and several other ESPN television, social and digital platforms in both English and Spanish. The UFC-ESPN deal is set to begin on January 2019.
Sports Business Daily Journal reports the five-year deal is worth $150 million per year.
“I couldn’t be more excited to partner with The Walt Disney Company and ESPN on an agreement that will continue to grow our sport,” said UFC president Dana White in a release. “UFC has always done deals with the right partners at the right time and this one is no exception. We will now have the ability to deliver fights to our young fan base wherever they are and whenever they want it. This deal is a home run for ESPN and UFC.”
The deal will have 15 live UFC events exclusively on ESPN+ starting next year. The events will be branded “UFC on ESPN+ Fight Night” and they will be composed of 12 fights each.
Other programming will also be featured on ESPN+, including new seasons of Dana White’s Contender Series (which make ESPN debut on June 2019), a new, all-access series produced by IMG Original Content, and additional UFC-branded content including: UFC Countdown shows, press conferences, weigh-ins, pre-and post-shows.
The release didn’t mention much about the future of the UFC’s digital streaming service, UFC Fight Pass, but did say that UFC Fight Pass will be available for purchase on ESPN+ along with UFC pay-per-views. Fans can subscribe to ESPN+ for $4.99 a month or $49.99 per year.