How much would you pay to air UFC on TV?
If you’re the FOX network, roughly $200 million. While that sounds like a nice chunk of change for the average Joe, the world’s leading mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion was hoping to secure more than double that amount when its contract expires in 2018.
That’s according to John Ourand at Sports Business Journal.
Can confirm Fox initial offer for UFC rights in the $200M range, as first reported by @Ourand_SBJ.— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) November 27, 2017
UFC sale document said rights were worth as much as $450M. Don't believe WME/IMG ever thought that was realistic.
FOX signed a seven-year deal with UFC back in 2011 worth roughly $100 million per annum. The network certainly got its money worth, splattering MMA content across multiple stations including FOX, FOX Sports 1, and FX, just to name a few.
Their exclusive negotiating period ended just last month.
UFC has no shortage of suitors and will likely entertain offers from digital media companies as well, like Amazon and Google. Opportunities also exist on cable television, with old rival Showtime kicking over a few rocks to see what’s underneath.
No question UFC, now owned by WME | IMG after last year’s blockbuster sale, is going to end up somewhere soon, but it doesn’t sound like it’s a seller’s market.