The answer to the question, “Who will be the UFC’s new television partner?” might be a complicated one.
According to a report by Variety, ESPN and Fox Sports have teamed up to make the UFC an offer on their upcoming broadcast rights.
The report noted that a ESPN/Fox Sports partnership could result in at least 15 UFC events being exclusively streamed the the newly launched ESPN+. Currently, access to ESPN+ comes with a $4.99 monthly fee.
While the UFC will not likely receive the $300-$400 million that they initially sought, in the new deal Fox Sports could increase their annual payments to UFC from $120 million to $200 million. Despite Fox Sports increasing their rights fees, a partnership with ESPN would mean that Fox Sports would decreased their live fight inventory.
Fox’s exclusive negotiating window with the UFC expired in late 2017.