There has been significant speculation around the future of the UFC on TV over the last few months. With the promotions existing TV deal with FOX due to expire later this year, the UFC have been actively looking for a new US TV partner.
According to a report by Variety, the two powerhouses have put together a proposal which would see ESPN host as many as 15 events on their new streaming service ESPN+.
Variety reports that ESPN are prepared to pay between $120-180 million per year in a deal which would add the UFC to it’s growing collection of live events rights. Fox are reportedly prepared to increase their investment to c.$200 million per year, a significant increase from the $120 million they paid per year under the current deal. The sources cited by Variety claim that the total number of events hosted by FOX on both FOX Broadcasting and FS1 would decrease slightly under the proposed deal.
ESPN launched their new streaming service last week at a cost of $4.99 per month. It is yet to be seen what impact ESPN’s potential acquisition of UFC rights would mean for UFC Fight Pass customers.
As the deal is for US TV rights, the deal will not impact viewers in other territories where existing deals are in place.
Representatives for the UFC, ESPN and FOX declined to comment on the situation when approached by Variety.