The UFC will have a new home in 2019, as the promotion has agreed to a deal with ESPN.
Announced on Tuesday, the UFC and The Walt Disney Company’s new Direct-To-Consumer & International segment along with ESPN, have come to terms on an immersive multi-year media rights agreement for exclusive live UFC content on ESPN+. The deal also covers a variety of ESPN’s television, social and digital platforms, in English and Spanish, starting in January.
Fifteen live UFC events will stream exclusively on ESPN+, the new all-digital service released by ESPN. Those card will be what we’ve come to know as “Fight Night” events, with 12 bouts set for each one.
“One of our goals for ESPN+ is to bring sports fans of all genres content they love and are passionate about, and this agreement with UFC is illustrative of exactly that,” said Kevin Mayer, chairman of The Walt Disney Company’s Direct to Consumer and International division. “We look forward to providing UFC’s enthusiastic, growing fan base with a wide array of live events and building a lasting relationship with the industry leader in mixed martial arts.”
ESPN+ runs $4.99 a month or $49.99 for an entire year and also includes MLB, NHL and college athletic events.
Here’s what will be offered in terms of UFC content on ESPN+:
- Exclusive, all new-seasons of “Dana White’s Contender Series” beginning in June 2019
- A new original, all-access series produced by IMG Original Content
- Exclusive pre- and post-event shows for all 15 “UFC on ESPN+ Fight Nights”
- Non-exclusive access to UFC’s full archive of programming, including historic events, classic bouts, and original programming
- Additional UFC-branded content, including “UFC Countdown” shows, press conferences, weigh-ins, and pre-and post-shows
Also, UFC Fight Pass and UFC pay-per-view events will be able to be secured through ESPN+ at additional costs.
“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,” UFC president Dana White said. “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.”