As the UFC’s relationship with Fox comes to a close at the end of the year, many questions still persist as the MMA promotion shifts to ESPN next year.
One of the biggest questions has to do with the pacing of the events when they air on ESPN and as to whether or not the shows pace will change in 2019.
That would appear to be a solid no, because Aaron Bronsteter of TSN Sports claims the shows will continue at the same pace they are running at now.
Bronsteter tweeted the following about this topic:
I spoke with UFC VP of International and Content David Shaw today and received some clarification on details of the new TV rights deal with ESPN and how it affects international viewers (1/3)— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) May 30, 2018
-ESPN's ten linear events will be treated as premium events like UFC on FOX events are— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) May 30, 2018
-The ESPN+ events will have similar pacing to TV cards as they will be televised internationally
-The pay-per-view model will remain the same with ESPN+ added as an additional distributor (2/3)
-Most main cards will begin at 10:00 pm et as they do now— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) May 30, 2018
-ESPN+ deal gives flexibility for international shows to start in that market's prime time rather than catering to North American prime time
Full interview available on today's TSN MMA Show (3/3)
The promotion, when on free TV, averages about two fights per hour, meaning a six fight main card would take approximately three hours to complete.
It should be noted there has been no official word from the UFC or ESPN as to whether the event pacing would change when their partnership begins in 2019.