There was a time when the UFC had a hard time getting on TV. UFC fights were illegal in almost every state for years. Even Pay Per View distributors turned their back on the promotion. Times have definitely changed.
The UFC recently announced a massive television deal with Disney owned ESPN, for a whopping $1.5 billion. ESPN will pay $150 Million per year for broadcast rights to fights. They will also dish out $750 million, over a five year period, for digital rights.
The deal will take affect January 1st, 2019 and will include up to 42 events annually. ESPN will showcase 10 Fight Night cards and stream another 20. ESPN reaches over 115 million homes per month and is broadcast in 61 countries worldwide.
This huge deal solidifies the UFC as a growing mainstream sport. It also gives the promotion a much needed financial boost. Now if the UFC can only get Conor McGregor and Jon Jones back in the octagon.