Don't have account?
AW Week In Review
Everything Is Wrestling
Backstage Details on How RAW, SmackDown & UFC Deals Materialized
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
The Sports Business Journal has an interesting
detailing the series of events that led to UFC and WWE signing their recent landmark deals that total to approximately $4 billion over the next five years.
The situation heated up when WME-IMG (a talent agency) bought UFC for an astounding $4.2 billion back in 2016 before valuing UFC at $450 million per year which caused several networks to balk at the figure. FOX, which was carrying UFC at the time, decided to not even meet with WME-IMG as they felt the number was way too high. Even though that price tag was grossly inflated, FOX executives came up with three options: a) the network would offer more money ($200 million) than they were currently paying but get less content, b) pay around $150 million per year but split the content with another network or c) abandon UFC entirely. They ended up going with the third option, not even formally submitting any bid but verbally suggesting that they would offer at most $200 million for UFC, which of course they knew would be rejected.
ESPN, which showed interest in both UFC and WWE, ended up signing with UFC - at first agreeing to pay $150 million over five years for the streaming rights to 15 UFC events before ponying up $300 million for all of its media rights. ESPN and WWE talks fell apart mainly on the basis that RAW and/or SmackDown Live airs every week of the year without fail and ESPN, with its other contracts in place, was not able to guarantee a weekly airing. WWE, which was also going to be represented by WME-IMG (now merged with Endeavor), ended up going with a rival talent agency in CAA. While
and the Endeavor CEO were close, the networks involved in the bidding (especially FOX) did not feel comfortable dealing with the same company in negotiations for both WWE and UFC, citing a conflict of interest. This pissed off Endeavor and likely was the final nail in the coffin in the UFC/FOX relationship falling apart.
CAA then leveraged both RAW and SmackDown Live and revealed to NBCUniversal that they were going to negotiate the two shows separately, essentially splitting the package. Seeking $265 million for RAW and $200 million for SmackDown Live, NBCUniversal was forced to go with RAW, leaving SmackDown Live available for any other networks to secure. FOX then quickly moved in the very next day and signed SmackDown Live to an approximate annual $205 million deal for five years. Turner Sports showed interest in both UFC and WWE but due to an ongoing legal situation as a result of their merger with AT&T, they were never serious contenders for any of the shows as their executives would be unable to negotiate such a large deal.
One of the main reasons FOX executives favored WWE over UFC is their ability to monetize that sort of programming. With WWE being a "family friend" and still considered as live sports with an engaging and loyal fanbase, the content was valuable and advertisers were eager to work with them whereas with UFC, it was becoming more and more difficult to market especially with major star
gone and Conor McGregor rarely fighting. UFC also saved its best fights for PPVs which was also hurt advertising sales.
Extreme Rules Match Changed, Goldust Update, TNA Title For Sale
WWE 205 Live Results (07/10): Cedric Alexander vs Hideo Itami
WWE SmackDown Live Results (07/10): Extreme Rules Go-Home Show
Leave a Comment:
Subscribe to Post
Be the first to comment. Gain AW status points!
Original Ambrose Plan, 2 Final Battle Matches, Silas Young in WWE
November 16 2018 at 12:36:00 AM
Bryan vs. Shane at WrestleMania? Daniels & Kaz News, Harper
November 16 2018 at 12:13:00 AM
Industry Insider Says Women May Main Event at WrestleMania 35
November 15 2018 at 9:18:00 PM
Jeff Hardy Comments On Being A Dad, Daughters Possibly Wrestling
November 15 2018 at 9:00:00 PM
WWE Posts Video of Iconic Macho Man Interviews
November 15 2018 at 8:54:00 PM
Brie Bella's Message to Husband Daniel Bryan after WWE Title Win
November 15 2018 at 8:48:00 PM
The Miz Claims He Was Right About Daniel Bryan All Along
November 15 2018 at 8:40:00 PM
WWE Announces Triple H Will Be on Facebook After NXT War Games
November 15 2018 at 8:31:00 PM
Becky Lynch Keeps Taunting Rousey, Tweeting That She Owns Her
November 15 2018 at 8:25:00 PM
Why Becky Lynch Is the Best Damn Thing About the WWE Right Now
November 15 2018 at 4:22:00 PM
#574 – Becky Lynch Out For Survivor Series, Is Nia Jax A Liability, Daniel Bryan Your New Champion
When Becky Lynch vs. Ronda Rousey Will Happen, News on Daniel Bryan's Heel Turn, When Strowman Will Face Lesnar, Update on Alexa Bliss Being Out Of Action, Paige Not Cleared and more. We look at a history of unsafe practices by Nia Jax. Plus reaction to the changes to WWE Survivor Series
Subscribe To Show
PRO WRESTLING NEWSWIRE
NXT Superstars get 3D-scanned for Mattel figures
Cedric Alexander def. Lio Rush
The Lucha House Party def. Mike Karma & Kraig Keesaman
Drew Gulak & Gentleman Jack Gallagher def. Akira Tozawa and The Brian Kendrick
How two of the most anticipated matches in WWE history came together during one fateful night on SmackDown LIVE
The WrestleMania On-Sale Party at MetLife Stadium has been cancelled due to impending inclement weather on Thursday
Zack Gibson def. Trent Seven
Jinny def. Millie McKenzie – NXT UK Women’s Championship Tournament Quarterfinal Match
“Bomber” Dave Mastiff def. Dan Moloney
Pro Wrestling News
Formerly Impact Wrestling and
All Wrestling ™ 2018 All Rights Reserved.