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« | Home | »

UFC’s $150M/year deal with ESPN: “Iger’s taken the Disney trolley off the tracks”

By Zach Arnold | May 10, 2018

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Amazon is Best of Breed in maximizing cloud computing but they’re not stupid nor desperate enough to reportedly pay UFC $150 million dollars a year for a bunch of events. ESPN & Disney are, however.

The collapse of carriage fees on cable for ESPN means they are competing in a cutthroat streaming business market. One big competitor in the combat sports space is DAZN, who just hired former ESPN boss John Skipper. DAZN is going all-in with promoter Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing for $125 million dollars a year. ESPN+ has Top Rank Boxing and will now have UFC content.

The biggest challenge for ESPN is being able to produce content that doesn’t conflict with contractual obligations to the various major cable providers. In order to get UFC content on ESPN+, it was going to cost a premium. $150 million a year for 15 shows is ridiculously reckless. In comparison to DAZN ponying up $125 million a year for Matchroom Boxing? Maybe not as heartburn-inducing as first thought.

ESPN+ is $5 a month or $50 a year for a full-time subscriber. Between the amount of subscribers needed along with digital advertising, Disney’s “investment” in UFC is a really risky proposition. It’s the equivalent of buying a mansion as an income property in hopes of paying off the mortgage using cash flow from others.

Amazon was never going to be able to offer UFC $150 million dollars a year nor should they have even considered doing so. What Amazon could do was provide an explosive platform to grow merchandising and advertising revenues. What Amazon represented was not a guarantee but an opportunity. For vulture venture capitalists, the guaranteed cash always beats out the promise of opportunity. The financiers aren’t playing around.

If you had told me from the start that someone was willing to pay over $100 million dollars a year for streaming rights, then I would have never considered Amazon to be a serious threat. Amazon could have made Fight Pass bigger than anything UFC could have ever imagined but what’s the point when Disney is throwing cash at you like a drunk sailor?

The story of UFC’s new marriage with ESPN speaks much more to the state of Disney’s health than it does the health of UFC. Disney is in a Comcastic death grip over the fight to acquire Fox Sports assets. Comcast pressuring Fox with a 15% premium over Disney’s largely stock-based offer means a future explosion. ESPN used to be the safest, take-it-to-the-bank business play. It was the 30-year American T-note. You could never fail with all those cable carriage fees because it didn’t matter whether or not people actually watched the network. The ESPN+ business model is no guarantee and Disney’s reliance on UFC to save their sports network is a remarkable turn of events for those of us who covered the sport of Mixed Martial Arts from its very modern beginnings.

Topics: Boxing, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 9 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

9 Responses to “UFC’s $150M/year deal with ESPN: “Iger’s taken the Disney trolley off the tracks””

  1. Tradition Rules says:

    The only two things about this deal that interest me are the 15 “UFC on ESPN + Fight Night” event and the “non-exclusive access to UFC’s full archive of programming….”

    The “Dana White’s Contender Series” could be interesting, but the pre & post fight shows are not a deal maker for myself.

    The other “Original Content”,…..what does that mean? The need to announce what this “content” is and soon if they want to make it a selling point.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    I don’t understand some of the complaints the fans have about this deal. ESPN+ is extremely easy to sign up for and cancel. It can be done so on a monthly basis. So MMA fans can pick and choose which cards they want to see and pay the $5 per month for it. I have no problem paying $5 for a MMA card I really want to see. It beats paying $60 for a PPV card.

    ESPN is doing some interesting stuff with ESPN+. They now have 15 UFC events and the UFC library. They bought out the rights to Major League Soccer, which is now cheaper for fans per year through ESPN+. They are getting a lot of fringe sports and putting them all together in a nice way.

  3. Pluc61 says:

    Do you find it weird how little talk there is in the MMA media on the CBS-Viacom merger? It could have huge ramification on Bellator.

  4. david m says:

    UFC is making a rather interesting decision by not cutting down on PPVs after this deal (which I would assume means they make money on their PPVs regardless of whether or not anyone buys them). Their roster is too thin for this many events; think of all the stars who don’t fight for the promotion anymore, or whom the UFC refused to sign: Mousasi, Askren, King Mo, Rory, Larkin, Rodriguez, Rampage, etc. I have done a lot of work with PE funds in the past, and it is becoming clearer to me that WME is going to get these deals done and then flip the UFC as soon as possible.

  5. jolrmtrr says:

    Hey! This is my test post!

  6. xreinzvl says:

    Ikke desto mindre kan du ikke forlade svage for?ldede omkostninger, der k?rer p? dette forsvundne sted, hr. Gandalf! R?bte Mike, irriteret og ogs? ber?rt. Min partner og jeg vandt ikke det, og ogs? det er glat. Lige efter han er s kom frem til nu og ogs? n?sten alle!
    Mine undskyldninger, Mike, n?vnte den s?rlige tryllekunstner. Men hvis frontd?ren uhugger jeg virkelig ikke n?dvendigvis overveje dig, vil du v?re i stand til New Balance sko online at kaste omkostningerne inde i, i til den udvidede d?mpe vedr?rende Moria. Du skal v?lge mellem Udgifter kob New Balance sko sammen med din l?re.
    Hed holder sig til hr. Frodo i et dragefamiliev?relse, der https://www.joggingskonb.com/nb111-c-19.html nemt styrer dit k?ledyr, protesterede Mike. Itd bliver n?sten intet i mangel p? at dr?be for at vise dit k?ledyr reducere sammen med hver af disse baby ulve om.
    Det vil v?re mangel p? drab, jeg h?ber at n?vne New Balance sko butik Gandalf. Denne person satte sin h?ndflade omkring ponys hjernen og chattede ogs? i de nederste ord. V?lg vilk?r vedr?rende skjold og k?rer ogs? for dig, denne person n?vnt Du kan v?re et smart monster og besidde realiseret betydeligt inden for Rivendell. Hj?lp til tilgange til omr?der at k?be gr?s, derfor kan du finde tid og energi til Elronds bop?l, eller m?ske pr?cis, hvor du vil flytte.
    Lige nu, Mike! Han har virkelig f?et det maksimale potentiale New Balance lobesko for at undg? baby ulve og ogs? erhverve bop?l, selv som det har f?et.
    Mike stod sullenly fra New Balance dame sko hesten og leverede New Balance 997 udsalg simpelthen ikke noget svar. Omkostninger, der tilsyneladende forstod det, der fandt sted, nikkede rundt om dit k?ledyr og fik sin n?sebor til at kunne Sams ?regang. Mike br?d direkte ind i skrig og fumlede ogs? med alle stikene, og opladede hver enkelt ponyslever og slog dem ogs? p? en gr?spl?ne. De middelm?dige tog omsorg for derude, og byggede en stak af de fleste, der kunne blive lagt til side, og ogs? opdele s?vnen.
    N?r dette er afsluttet, vil de se p? at observere Gandalf. Denne person har faktisk ink?kket n?sten ingenting. Denne person har st?et op og involverer et par t?mmer, der stirrer p? den blotte v?gstruktur med den stejle kant, som dog tr?t noget mellemrum sammen med hans ansigt. Gimli har g?et rundt om at tappe den bestemte natursten lejlighedsvis sammen med sin ?kse. Legolas har v?ret h?rdt New Balance casual skopresset i strid med stenen, som at tune ind.
    Rigtigt, det f?lgende har vi v?ret og ogs? klar, n?vnt Glad; endnu, hvor vil der v?re porte? Min partner og jeg kan ikke se stort set ethvert signal deraf.
    Dv?rg-d?re er normalt ikke bygget til at blive vist n?r som helst lukket, n?vnt Gimli. De kan v?re skjulte, og deres fagfolk kan heller ikke se dem eller m?ske f? dem til r?dighed, n?r deres s?rlige n?gle vil blive fors?mt.
    Alligevel var denne slags hovedd?r ikke blevet produceret for at blive n?gle identificeret blot til dv?rge, n?vnt Gandalf, p? sin vej abrupt din og ogs? konvertering sf?risk. Bortset fra hvis ting normalt er helt ?ndret, st?r ansigt i, som ved meget godt, hvad de skal finde, godt at afd?kke indikationerne.
    Denne person vandrede fremad for v?gstrukturen. Korrekt med m?rket med t?mmeret var der klart et rent omr?New Balance herre sko de, og ogs? over denne type af denne person godkendte hans / hendes h?ndflader frem og tilbage, mumlende vilk?r under hans / hendes luft. Han flyttede derefter igen.
    Synes! denne person n?vnt. Er det muligt at l?gge m?rke til noget overhovedet i dag?
    Den s?rlige Silent Himmelske Legeme i dag skinnede efter den s?rlige gr?agtige Konfrontationen med Stenen; Ikke desto mindre kan de n?sten ikke se noget anderledes for en tid. N?ste langsomt og gradvist p? toppen blev det sted, hvor wizardspalmerne blev erhvervet godkendt, at spore kom ud, ligesom tonede problematiske ?rer vedr?rende guldarbejde inde i naturstenen. I f?rste omgang holdt vi kun bl?de gossamer-tr?de, s? store, som de simpelthen gl?dede det sted, hvor den stille himmelske krop fandt disse, men gradvist bliver de st?rre og mere klare, indtil deres bestemte layout New Balance sko denmark muligvis kunne t?nkes.

  7. zwiapaxp says:

    Lige nu sprang den s?rlige portage-m?de, der konverterede tilbage til den s?rlige vandside, omhyggeligt som f?lge af den s?rlige overfladiske side af din lille sv?mning. Det var faktisk Under Armour skoallerede scooped inde i flodsiden, ikke n?dvendigvis selv, men alligevel fra H2O-cirkulerende lige ned fra Sarn Gebir i mods?tning til den laveste b?ddocke vedr?rende sten, hvor der drev en vej ind i udbuddet. Ud over at den bestemte kyst ?gede sig helt ind i en gr?lig stejl kant, og ogs? der var tydeligvis simpelthen ikke mere passage for nogen ved at g?.
    Tidligere har den s?rlige hurtige mid-dag v?ret tidligere, plus en gr? dyster m?rk har v?ret endelige indeni. De vil sidde ved siden af ??h2o at spille det specielle forbl?ffende dash og br?l ogs? med Rapids usynlige i luften; vi holdt slidte og ogs? d?sige, og ogs? deres specielle kys har v?ret siden deprimerende fordi aftenen aften.
    Rigtigt, det f?lgende har vi v?ret, og ogs? f?lgende skal vi afslutte endnu en nat, n?vnt Boromir. Vi vil gerne slumre, og ogs? n?r Aragorn har Under Armour casual sko erhvervet nogen hjerne for at kunne f?rdigg?re de s?rlige indgange ang?ende Argonath blot om natten, er mange af os ogs? tr?tte – undtagen, uden tvivl vores egen st?rke dv?rg.
    Gimli producerede simpelthen ikke noget svar: Denne person har nikket siden denne person siddende.
    Hvorfor sover vi ikke i dag, vi kunne n?vne Aragorn.Vi m? vi bare kigge efter aftenen igen, medmindre de n?ste tordenvejrtilpasninger endnu en gang og hemmeligheder os alle, skal vi alle bruge et glimrende potentiale for falder ved hj?lp af usynlig blot ved n?sten ethvert ansigt omkring den asiatiske kyst. Men tonet et par behov for at observere med hinanden inden for transformationer: et par timer v?k fra den ene om skjold.
    N?sten intet fandt sted i hvilken nat tid en hel del v?rre,Under Armour sko salg n?r man sammenlignede med en hurtig drizzle om d?rligt vejr en time lige f?r Under Armour sko udsalg daggry. Da det helt var helt mildt, begyndte de. Tidligere har de s?rlige fejl v?ret tyndere h?r. De vil blive opbevaret siden lukket, mens de kan for den amerikanske del, og s? kan de begynde at se de gr? stilarter med de lavere kl?fter, der vokser til enhver tid, og skyggefulde overflader g?r brug af deres t?er inde i rushs?en. Inden for formiddagen modtog den s?rlige atmosf?re lige ned, plus det begyndte at d?rligt vejr meget. De vil modtage de s?rlige hudd?kker over deres s?rlige vandfart?jer for at forhindre, at disse kommer fra at blive bombarderet og ogs? drev rundt: sm? kan muligvis m?rkes lige f?r disse eller m?ske vedr?rer disse fra de gr?agtige faldende draperier.
    Det s?rlige d?rlige vejr har dog ikke v?ret tidligere forl?nget. Langsomt og Under Armour sko denmark gradvist blev de tidligere n?vnte himmelbl? lys og pludselig den s?rlige atmosf?re uden for kontanter, og ogs? deres specielle skr?vede frynser sl?bt fra hinanden nordover s?en. De s?rlige t?ge og ogs? t?ge har v?ret l?nge g?et. F?r de ferieg?ster l?gger en omfattende kl?ft sammen med fantastiske humpede faktorer for at v?re i stand til, som normalt fastsp?ndes, efter frysere og ogs? inde i filterrev, et par tr?sorter. Den s?rlige rute Under Armour Horizon STR Butik blev smalere s?vel som s?en hurtigere. I dag holdt vi ?get ud over det lille ?nske om at stoppe eller m?ske konvertere, alt efter hvad de kunne tilfredsstille p? forh?nd. Over disse har v?ret nogen side af vejen om lysebl? himler, om disse den s?rlige svage overskyggede s?, og lige f?r disse afrikanske amerikaner, der vender ud der sollys, de s?rlige skr?ninger vedr?rende Emyn Muil, hvor simpelthen kob Under Armour sko ingen begyndelse kunne v?re bem?rket.
    Frodo peering forwards observeret inde i l?ngden et par fantastiske stenblokke kommer t?t p?: ligesom fantastiske hegn eller m?ske st?tte bj?lker vedr?rende natursten de vil se. H?jere og ogs? utter og truer med at de vil, stod efter begge dele med forsyningen. Enhver filterafstand kom ud blandt disse, s?vel som s?en fejede det s?rlige vandfart?j mod det.
    Overhold den s?rlige http://www.ualobesko.com/ua-speedform-slingwrap-c-3.html Argonath, de s?rlige Support bj?lker med nobleman! gr?d Aragorn. Vi alle b?r f?rdigg?re disse inden for kort tid. Vedligeholde vandfart?jet inden i serien, s? n?r du adskiller det v?sentligt fra dig! Hold midt i den s?rlige forsyning!

  8. kontaajxn says:

    Hello, this is my first topic for test!

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