As of 2019, UFC programming in the United States will leave FOX and go to ESPN, also known as the "World Leader in Sports." You will be wondering what this means for the amount of cards, the future of UFC Fight Pbad, how the ESPN / ESPN + division will be, and much more.
It's only been a day since the news broke, and today (Wednesday, May 23) it marked the official announcement, so we'll see some details revealed in the coming months, but for now, this is what we know.  The total package is five years, $ 1.5 billion . This agreement of $ 300 million / year is actually $ 150 million / year for television rights, and another $ 150 million for the cards transmitted by ESPN +. It is more than double what FOX currently pays for the last year of its emission rights.
The UFC still controls production . Different network society, same production. Dana White confirmed this with Brett Okamoto .
Total number of UFC annual events: 42 (with 32 of the 42 main cards behind the pay wall of ESPN + or PPV) . That's more than the 39 that were released in 2017, and one more than the 41 that staged in 2015 and 2016. If you're one of those who believe that the UFC is presenting too many shows, they will actually increase their total events slightly by moving forward.
20 Fight Night cards will be broadcast on ESPN +, while 10 will be on ESPN's linear networks . Yes, most events that are not PPV will be broadcast behind a pay wall and will not be televised (for American viewers, at least). The official brand will be known as "UFC on ESPN Fight Night" and "UFC on ESPN + Fight Night". To add my opinion briefly, ESPN and ESPN2 are going to be locked in college collegiate basketball and college football for several days of the year, and those games will take precedence over the UFC, so I guess April-August will be the right moment for Fight Nights on ESPN
PPVs will not be reduced, and the ESPN networks will televise the PPV prelims . The official press release announced that there will be 12 special pay-per-view card specials on ESPN and its family of networks.
All ESPN Fight Night preliminary cards will be broadcast on ESPN + . Instead of prelims and main card in the same network, events on ESPN television will have preferences in the transmission service.
The Contender series by Dana White will be on ESPN + as of June 2019 . The Ultimate Fighter was not mentioned, so we can only speculate on what that means for that program.
Ariel Helwani and Chael Sonnen will be part of ESPN's MMA coverage . As announced last week, Ariel Helwani will leave MMAFighting.com to join ESPN's MMA team, which includes "co-host of Ariel & The Bad Guy", a new weekly MMA show, host from the permanent podcast & # 39; Ariel Helwani & # 39; s MMA Show & # 39; and MMA reporter on ESPN's digital media and television platforms.
UFC Fight Pbad will not go away . He said nothing about the UFC live fighting on Fight Pbad, the official press release stated: "In addition to the live events and the content included in the ESPN + subscription, fight fans will be able to buy and watch UFC FIGHT PASS ® (UFC DTC transmission offer) and UFC PPV events through ESPN + and within the ESPN application, for a separate cost. "ESPN + subscribers will also have non-exclusive access to the full UFC programming file, including historical events, clbadic matches, and original programming."
If you reside in the United States and are interested in registering on ESPN +, the Subscription is $ 4.99 without contract per month or $ 49.99 per year.
In due time, we will know how long these cards will last; There will be 12 fight shows, dates, start times and much more as we embark on a new era of UFC streaming content.