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Volume 26 No. 202
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UFC's Dana White Talks Impact Of ESPN Deal, Company Philosophy

UFC President Dana White was a guest on LVSportsBiz.com's Alan Snel's podcast yesterday and discussed a number of issues -- past and present -- surrounding the MMA outfit. Below are some highlights from White's appearance.

  • On UFC’s deal with ESPN: “How much this business has grown in five months with ESPN is phenomenal and when I say this business, I mean our ratings, we’re on par right now to break every record we’ve ever had for ticket sales in a year ... Even all the critics who were talking about how because ESPN+ is behind a paywall that UFC Fight Pass will die, UFC Fight Pass' numbers are up big time. We’re up about 30% since being with ESPN."
  • On UFC's distribution of original content: "As streaming started to come with YouTube and all these other things like creating your own network with UFC Fight Pass, the way that we had built the business we were made for this next level. Streaming, the internet, social media, this company was built for that."
  • On how UFC events differ from traditional fight presentations: "I always believed that I knew what fight fans wanted to see and if I had the chance to do it myself, I could do it better than everybody else."
  • On the sale of UFC in '16: "The Fertittas weren’t going to take a dollar less than $4.2 billion. That was their number, they were stuck on that number and as everybody started coming through, from every major network to big hedge funds, the number that people were bidding was anywhere from $3.7 and $5 billion. ... People don’t really grasp how big this thing is and was with the sale. If I told what the company was worth now three years after the sale, it would blow your mind. It’s so weird because this thing just flies so far under the radar.”
  • On if there was any interest in joining the Fertittas in a potential bid for an NFL team: “If they buy a team, I’m in. I will partner up with them. ... I would love to be back in business with them and do something. Obviously I’m very busy and very focused over here, but financially I would jump in with those guys" (“LVSportsBiz.com Podcast Series,” LVSPORTSBIZ.com, 6/11).