ESPN+ has expanded and extended its rights deal with the UFC and will now be the exclusive distributor of the MMA league’s pay-per-view events in the U.S. through 2025. The deal also adds two years to a five-year streaming rights pact struck last May for a reported $150 million a year.
ESPN also has linear rights to UFC fare in a $300 million-a-year, five-year deal that started in January; the fight league had been set up at Fox the past seven years. Endeavor, which led the $4 billion acquisition of the UFC in 2016, had been in talks with a range of suitors before ESPN emerged to win the bidding.
The deal struck Monday begins April 13 with UFC 236 on April 13, a card headlined by two interim title bouts. ESPN said UFC PPV events sold through ESPN+ will include all bouts on the main card, with preliminary fights for all UFC PPV events continuing to air nationally on ESPN or ESPN+ under the previous agreement.
The overall deal calls for 30 UFC Fight Night events per year, with 10 of those main cards to air on ESPN’s network and the other 20 on ESPN+.