TKO Group President Mark Shapiro Ranks UFC Among The Top Four In Viewership

TKO Group Holdings Inc. President Mark Shapiro has said the UFC is one of the four major sports in terms of viewing figures. 

Shapiro highlighted the growth of the UFC following the pandemic. Three of the UFC’s largest PPVs came after the covid-era began.

“What we’re finding is that the UFC continues to grow on our platforms.There is always competition and we want to provide consumers the most choice and we want to serve as broad and diverse an audience as possible. The UFC is obviously a big part of that. We’re proud of how it’s performed and continues to perform throughout this pandemic,” Matt Kenny ESPN’s vice president

The UFC’s merger with WWE last year to form TKO Group Holdings Inc. has also increased the possibility of crossover fights and introducing a bigger fanbase. The UFC’s current deal with ESPN expires next year, with analysts predicting that any new deal with the UFC will be worth over $3 billion. The UFC’s most successful PPV was for their UFC 229 clash between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor Mcgregor with 2.4 million PPV buys. Now, Shapiro feels the UFC’s brand is one of the best.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in sports in my career, I’m getting old now, and once in a while you hear — you used to hear it more often than you do now — but it used to be the four majors. The four majors. Frankly, what are you talking about? UFC is now not only mainstream, but it’s one of the four majors.

“The ratings on ESPN and ESPN2, apples to apples against the NHL — even including the playoffs, we dwarf them. You put a Fight Night, not a pay-per-view, not a preliminary bout in front of the pay-per-view, a regularly weekly Fight Night on ESPN — does double digit ratings, beats [the ratings] against the NHL. The demos are anywhere from 20 to 40 percent up,”Shapiro said

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