If Fox Sports executives want to maintain the right to broadcast UFC content, they are going to have to really delve into the network’s deep pockets.
The UFC’s deal with Fox, which was signed in 2011 and is reportedly worth an average of $115 million per annum, is set to expire in 2018 and the promotion’s new owner’s, American talent agency WME-IMG, intend on tagging a few dollars onto their asking price when negotiations re-open in late 2017.
Actually, it’s a few hundred million dollars.
According to a report published by the Sports Business Journal on Monday, the company will be looking for $450 million a year over a period of ten years. What’s more, they intend to hand over all the production costs of each show to the network.
It certainly sounds like an ambitious plan.
Per the report, the package on offer includes the rights to four annual broadcast windows, six annual cable events and weekly programming like that which is currently broadcast on FS1, as well as Fight Pass.
It was announced in July that WME-IMG, in partnership with Silver Lake Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and MSD Capital, had purchased the UFC from Station Casinos owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta for some $4 billion, the highest price ever paid for a sports franchise.
It was an astounding story, as the Fertitta brothers and their partner, current UFC president Dana White, had bought the flagging company from Semaphore Entertainment Group(SEG) for a paltry $2 million back in 2001.