The UFC currently has new owners in the WME-IMG group and when 2018 rolls around, the world’s largest MMA promotion may be finding a new network in which to air its events. According to Sports Business Journal (SBJ), wherever the UFC lands will have to pony up the dough.
"Its magic number is $450 million a year, a potentially staggering increase from the $115 million annual average that FOX Sports now pays, according to several media and UFC sources. Although formal negotiations aren't expected to start until next year, network executives have learned that the UFC plans to seek at least a 10-year deal under those terms, sources said,” the statement was issued by the SBJ.
According to the same article by the SBJ, potential homes for the UFC outside of Fox include ESPN, Turner Sports and NBC Sports. Interesting to note is that NBC Sports is the current home of the World Series Of Fighting. Their contract ends in 2017.
Other than looking to quadruple their TV rights deals, other reports have suggested that the promotion is willing to replace Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg, who have been the UFC commentary team for well over a decade now. The UFC is also willing to get rid of its in house production team, which has been a sticking point in past negotiations with other cable networks.
While no announcements are expected anytime soon, Fightful will be providing updates when they become available.