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Report: ESPN strikes new deal with UFC, replaces FOX in 2019

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MMA: UFC Fight Night-Kansas City Weigh Ins Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is leaving the FOX network for its new home on ESPN under a revised broadcasting deal, struck just a few weeks after it previously announced a limited streaming partnership with the “worldwide leader in sports.”

More on that here.

Now, ESPN will be the exclusive home for all non pay-per-view (PPV) UFC events, expected to be as many as 30 per year beginning in 2019, according to Variety, with a price tag of $1.5 billion spread across its five-year agreement.

That’s more than double what FOX paid roughly seven years back but still under the original asking price, but I don’t think anyone at Endeavor, who purchased the world’s largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion for over $4 billion last summer, is going to complain.

Or use the F-word.

One of the major complaints from fight fans, at least in terms of the UFC on FOX brand of “Fight Night” events, is how some of the FOX Sports 1 cards were watered down with lesser-name talents — simply because there weren’t enough available A-listers to headline them.

I wouldn’t expect the change in networks to alleviate said grievance.