ESPN+ will be the exclusive provider of UFC pay-per-view events in the United States through 2025 after the two sides announced the agreement on Monday.
The new agreement will also extend the two companies' $1.5 billion media-rights deal from five years to seven. ESPN took control of the television rights for the UFC from Fox Sports with the deal in May 2018.
The new deal begins with UFC 236: Holloway vs. Poirier 2 on April 13. The network will broadcast all bouts on the Main Event fight cards, which will be streamed in English and Spanish. Preliminary bouts for all UFC PPV events will air nationally on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. The UFC will still sell PPV rights for bars and restaurants. New ESPN+ subscribers will get one-year of ESPN+ and a UFC PPV event for $79.99, while existing subscribers can purchase UFC PPV events for $59.99 per event.
According to Sports Business Journal's John Ourand, ESPN does not plant to sell UFC PPVs through other distributors like In Demand or DirecTV. Ourand also reported neither UFC nor ESPN would comment on how much ESPN is paying for the rights, but he reported that the UFC brings in around $250M in PPV revenue through its 12 telecasts.
"Today’s announcement further establishes the strength of the partnership between UFC and ESPN," UFC president Dana White said. "Now our fans will be able to watch all UFC events exclusively on ESPN platforms, including ESPN+, which is an innovative way to deliver fights to our young fan base. I couldn’t be more excited to work with ESPN for the next seven years. Together we’re going to do amazing things to help grow this sport."