Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been looking for a new home now that FOX is just a few months away from possibly getting out of the mixed martial arts (MMA) business, and fight fans may want to dust off their Mickey ears in celebration.
UFC and ESPN, bridged by The Walt Disney Company’s new Direct-To-Consumer & International segment, recently reached a multi-year media rights agreement for exclusive live content on ESPN+, which includes television and social and digital platforms beginning January 2019.
That includes 15 live MMA events branded “UFC on ESPN+ Fight Night” with no less than 12 bouts. In addition, ESPN+ will also offer UFC Fight Pass and UFC pay-per-view (PPV) events ... assuming you’re willing to pay $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) for a subscription.
Here’s what comes with it:
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
It’s most of what you’ve come to expect with the UFC on FOX shows.
“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 in today’s release. “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.”
The ESPN App and ESPN+ are available on mobile and TV-connected devices (iOS and Android) and on ESPN.com.