WWE’s Win Is UFC’s Loss In TV Contract Negotiations

WWE is entering into a new age of profitability via new television contracts with both the USA Network and Fox Network. The company’s stock hit an all-time high earlier this week.

The new agreements will go into effect beginning in October 2019 and covers the period between October 1st, 2019 to September 30th, 2024.

A recent report from the Wrestling Observer has revealed new details about WWE’s new television contracts.

Fox Walks Away From UFC After Deal With WWE

Fox had been negotiating on a possible deal with the UFC at the same time they were negotiations with WWE. The Network had a $200 million budget to work with in order to go after live programming and had tabled offers to both the UFC and WWE. The deal they signed with WWE is estimated at $4 million per week or $205 million annually.

After the deal to bring Smackdown to Fox was completed, the Network walked away from negotiations with the UFC.

“UFC played chicken with FOX and lost,” stated an anonymous TV insider.

The Sports Business Journal reported that Fox wanted an exclusive deal with the UFC but was willing to negotiate a deal that would involve other networks only not at a $10 million per show asking price.

The UFC ended up signing a deal with ESPN (separate from the previously announced streaming deal) believed to be valued at $150 million per year or $50 million less than the offer Fox had tabled.

ESPN and UFC’s two deals combined are estimated at $300 million per year.

FOX and ESPN Release Statements

ESPN released the following statement about their new agreement with the UFC:

“ESPN’s unparalleled multimedia platform is the perfect home for the UFC and will deliver tremendous value to both parties,” the ESPN statement reads. “UFC fans are passionate and loyal and we plan to bring the full power of ESPN’s live coverage, powerful storytelling and unmatched distribution to serve them in an unprecedented fashion. We can’t wait to get started.”

Fox released the following statement following news the UFC would be leaving their network:

“FOX Sports has enjoyed an amazing partnership with the UFC over the last seven years. As FOX Sports was planning the launch of FS1, Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta were the first partners to believe in the idea and vision of the new network. We look forward to finishing out 2018 with more exciting live events and wish the UFC continued success in the years to come.”

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