Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White has valued the mixed martial arts promotion at $ 7 billion.
The Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) is in news for all right reasons for a while now. Days after announcing eye-popping media rights deal worth $1.5 billion with ESPN, the UFC president Dana White has made tall claims about the valuation of his mixed martial arts promotion.
UFC President White has claimed that the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion’s recent five-year media rights deal with ESPN brought the value of the company up to US$7 billion.
The UFC-ESPN deal, inked in May this year, will see the cover of a total of 30 events each year, with 15 bouts to air exclusively on the new ESPN+ streaming service.
That $1.5 billion agreement is reported to be worth $300 million annually. If White’s claims are accurate, it would mean that the UFC is now worth nearly double the US$4.025 billion paid by Endeavor to purchase the organisation in August 2016.
“When you think about it we haven’t even scratched the surface yet of how big this thing can be,” White said in an interview. “We just did a TV deal with ESPN for US$1.5 billion for five years. Now the company is worth US$7 billion.”
“Obviously this ESPN deal is going to be massive for us, expose us to millions of people just here in the US 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.”
The UFC is also set to be boosted by the return of controversial Irish superstar Conor McGregor, who will fight in the octagon for the first time in nearly two years when he takes on Russia’s Khabib Nurmagomedov in Las Vegas on 6 October. Tickets for the event were reportedly sold out within three minutes of going on sale, while it has already recorded the second-largest gate in UFC history
White’s valuation of the UFC comes at a time when TV ratings of the events are on a decline and the growth of One Championship in SE Asian market is on rising. Though the UFC’s fight nights are still drawing strong gate and attendance numbers, while its international broadcast deals also drive significant revenue.
According to the recent report by Moody’s Investors Service, UFC banked ‘well over’ US$700 million in revenue for 2017, after posting a similarly strong figure for 2016.
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