How much is the UFC worth today? The Ultimate Fighting Championship sold for a whopping $4 billion on Monday, July 11, 2017. The mixed martial arts promotion was acquired by WME-IMG, which partnered with its owner Silver Lake Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and investment firm MSD Capital to make the purchase.
At the time of the deal, it marked the most expensive transaction for an organization in sports history.
But with pay-per-view sales declining and stars like Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, and Ronda Rousey either leaving the sport, serving suspensions or taking lengthy hiatuses, the company has been struggling in recent months. That doesn’t mean the bottom line or valuation of the company has been impacted, however.
In a recent interview, UFC boss Dana White claimed that the company is now worth $7 billion.
“When you think about it we haven’t even scratched the surface yet of how big this thing can be,” White told Tony Robbins in an interview, via MMAjunkie.com. “We just did a TV deal with ESPN for $1.5 billion for five years. Now the company is worth $7 billion.
“Obviously this ESPN deal is going to be massive for us, expose us to millions of people just here in the U.S. that haven’t been exposed to the UFC. We’re going to continue to go into markets we haven’t been, we’re going to continue to find the best talent in the world. I love to find up-and-coming talent. I love to find the next guy or girl. Continue to build the sport. That’s it. That’s my focus. It’s not rocket science, it’s nothing crazy. Just continue to do what we do and get bigger and bigger.”
So while there may be a perceived slump for the promotion, business would appear to be booming.
ESPN – UFC Deal: Info & Must-See Details
The UFC and ESPN officially came to a multi-year deal to air UFC fights and content on ESPN+, as well as across all of their television, social and digital platforms on May 8, 2018.
Dana White, President of the UFC, said with regards to the deal:
“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 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 deal is set to take effect in January of 2019 as fights and content become available on ESPN services.
FOX previously held television rights for the UFC, but their seven-year deal which pays $200 million per year is set to expire at the end of the year. The UFC and FOX had an exclusive negotiation period, but they were never able to agree to terms.