UFC president Dana White has long wanted for his product to be shown on ESPN. Now, nearly 18 years after he and the Fertitta Brothers acquired the UFC, we can see why.
The Fertittas sold the UFC a couple of years ago for $4.025 billion. White said in a recent interview that his company's television deal that moves the UFC from FOX to ESPN in January 2019 has nearly doubled the fight promotion's value.
“We just did a TV deal with ESPN for $1.5 billion for five years. Now the company is worth $7 billion,” White said in an interview with Tony Robbins, although he later added that there is still room for a massive amount of further growth.
“When you think about it, we haven’t even scratched the surface yet of how big this thing can be. In September, we're going into Moscow for the first time. Korea is building this huge arena; we're going into Korea.”
White wanted the UFC to air on ESPN many years ago, but there was a time when he couldn't even get a meeting with the sports media giant to discuss potential options. ESPN wouldn't even cover the fight promotion on its sports news programs.
Now, however, ESPN has shelled out big bucks to lure the UFC away from FOX. White believes the ESPN deal in the U.S. and continuing to expand globally will elevate the promotion to new heights.
“This ESPN deal is going to be massive for us, expose us to millions of people just here in the United States that haven’t been exposed to the UFC,” he said. “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. Continue to build the sport. It’s not rocket science, it’s nothing crazy, just continue to do what we do and get bigger and bigger.”
Tony Robbins Interviews UFC President Dana White
(Courtesy of Master your life with Tony Robbins)