ESPN joining forces with Fox Sports in bid for UFC rights.
ESPN has reportedly teamed up with Fox Sports in an effort to secure the UFC television rights.
According to Variety, the two companies have recently proposed to split the UFC TV package deal, which would bring as many as 15 fight events to ESPN's new subscription streaming service ESPN+. ESPN+ launched last week at a price of $4.99, but as of now the app only offers MLB, NHL, and some out-of-market MLS contests.
As part of the proposed deal, ESPN is reportedly willing to pay $120-$180 million per year for the live UFC events, while Fox is willing to dish out upwards of $200 million, which is $80M more than they currently pay annual for UFC rights. According to Variety, Fox’s current package includes four Saturday-night fights per year on Fox Broadcasting and several other fight events on Fox Sports 1.
The UFC's new owners, Endeavor is reportedly seeking a deal between $300-$400 million for its next television deal. If the details of this ESPN x Fox Sports deal are correct, the group will have secured a total within the range of its initial asking price.