Signing with ESPN has brought the UFC over a billion dollars, it also has brought the company led by Dana White on to the same network as bitter rival Bob Arum.
In an interview with The Big Lead, ESPN Vice President of Scheduling and Programming, Burke Magnus, claims that Top Rank and UFC may end up airing back to back on the same night.
“I could easily see that,” Magnus claimed last week.
“What I’m fond of saying to people is if the genie came out of the bottle and granted me one wish it would be for 104 Saturday nights per year. I think there’s no doubt that we’ll look to pair the two. In both cases, because of the staging aspects to it, we could also use timezones to our advantage. Like we did this year with Top Rank coming out of an SEC football game on a Saturday night with a big lead-in, we can do that kind of scheduling as well thanks to the fact that these things can be scheduled accordingly.”
One other aspect of the UFC’s deal with the UFC is the organization’s library. Per Magnus, “it’ll be a combination of linear and digital on ESPN+. I actually love the versatility of the library for linear on a slow night where there might not be much going on.”
While they don’t have every card from the entire 25 year history of the company at the same time (due to library rights), but plan to occasionally throw fairly recent events or compilation events in primetime.
The UFC joins ESPN in January 2019.
Quotes via: The Big Lead