Mark Shapiro, President and Chief Content Officer of Endeavor, discussed the potential shift in the UFC’s longstanding partnership with a single broadcast partner towards multiple networks.
Shapiro acknowledged the successful collaboration between the UFC and ESPN under their extensive seven-year agreement for linear, digital, and pay-per-view broadcasts.
“We have been very happy being with one platform [at ESPN], which is [owned by] the Walt Disney Company…
“But your goal is to maximize price, let’s be clear about that. In any renegotiation that Nick Khan is doing in WWE, his goal is to maximize price. Our goal with UFC is to maximize price,” Shapiro
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However, Shapiro made it clear that the ultimate goal in renegotiating rights deals is to maximize price.
This sentiment aligns with the approach of Nick Khan, who oversees WWE’s negotiations, as well as Endeavor’s objective with UFC. The focus remains on securing the most lucrative deal possible.
Shapiro drew attention to the NFL as a prime example of how diversifying a broadcast deal across multiple networks can lead to even greater success.
The NFL, renowned for its substantial television broadcast deal, has established partnerships with esteemed networks such as FOX and CBS.
Furthermore, Monday Night Football is aired on ESPN, while Thursday Night Football is exclusively streamed on Amazon Prime Video.
Despite concerns and skepticism surrounding the NFL’s expansion to multiple partners, Shapiro emphasized that the league has thrived with this approach.
FOX, CBS, NBC, and ESPN have all benefited from their involvement, and the NFL’s viewership has only grown stronger.
Shapiro concluded by emphasizing that while choosing the right partner and platform is crucial, the primary focus in negotiations remains on securing the best possible price.