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Dana White Touts UFC/ESPN Deal: ‘It’s Going to Be So Easy to Build Stars’

March 25, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Dana White UFC, UFC 249

– Dana White spoke with Yahoo! Sports about the UFC’s new exclusive deal with ESPN, the fate of The Ultimate Fighter and more. The video is below, plus some highlights:

On the benefits of working with ESPN: “Kevin, it’s going to be so easy to build stars with ESPN and the machine that they have. I’ve been in the television business now for twenty years and I haven’t worked with a network that is so aligned with all their other businesses. How well the TV side works with, how well both work with social media, plus other businesses that they own. I’ve never seen it run as smoothly as it does at ESPN. So we’re going to have the ability to do so much stuff with these guys. And when you start talking about digital package like [ESPN] Plus, the amount of content we can put on there now. We were always limited by what else was on the network. And now we’re not.”

On the difference between the ESPN deal and the UFC’s deal with Fox: “Well, without Fox, there is no ESPN. So yes, that deal was a very big deal to us. And they were great partners to us. But if you look at how that started, we went out with the first fight on Fox. We were on Fuel TV. I mean, we were on Fuel, then we went to FX, then we went to FS1. We jumped around a lot with Fox in the beginning because they did the deal, but didn’t know exactly where we fit and how it was all going to work out. But when we were on FX, we were killing it. The Ultimate Fighter was pulling massive numbers, the Fight Nights were pulling anywhere from 1.8 to two-point-something million viewers. So when we were on a network like FX, we were killing it. Now we’re back on ESPN, where obviously they reach more people. They reach more sports fans. They reach a more diverse group of sports fans. It’s so much bigger. I mean, you can’t even compare the two.”

On if The Ultimate Fighter will be on ESPN: “No, no. It might not be on ESPN. It might be on another network. Yeah, The Ultimate Fighter might be on another network, but The Ultimate Fighter’s coming back.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Yahoo! Sports with a h/t to

article topics :

Dana White, ESPN, UFC, Jeremy Thomas