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NEWS REAL

• Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Miami Open (March 23) due to knee issues.

• Picking up the mantle of National Women’s Month, and anticipating what next year will be its 70th anniversary, the LPGA has unveiled “Drive On,” a multi-platform refined brand position. According to the LPGA, “Drive On is clearly rooted in golf, but it's a bigger idea. It captures the power and potential in each of us and celebrates the hard work, focus and tenacity that it takes to achieve our goals.” Full story here.

• The NBA said that the Chinese and Croatian National Teams would join all 30 NBA teams to compete at MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2019 in Las Vegas, marking the first time that the league will feature two international teams, with 83 games over 11 days (July 5-15).

• The 2019 Alliance of American Football Championship, originalluy scheduled for April 27 in Las Vegas, will be played in Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas., which is owned and operated by Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys.

• MLB and the MLB Players’ Assn. have unveiled numerous changes to the game to be installed over the next two seasons that will impact game length, marketing broadcast partners, the All-Star Game and the Home Run Derby. Full story here.

POLL POSITION

Top Ten Most In-Demand MLB Tickets (based on total ticket sales on StubHub thru March 14):
1. New York Yankees
2. Boston Red Sox
3. San Francisco Giants
4. Chicago Cubs
5. St. Louis Cardinals
6. Los Angeles Dodgers
7. Philadelphia Phillies
8. Texas Rangers
9. New York Mets
10. Houston Astros

SOURCE: STUBHUB

KEEPING SCORE

The Most-In-Demand MLB Home Openers
(based on total ticket sales on StubHub thru March 14, all on March 28):

• Arizona Diamondbacks at the Dodgers (average ticket price $229.
• Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees (average ticket price $202)
• Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies (average ticket price $84)
• Chicago Cubs at Texas Rangers (average ticket price $254)
• Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds (average ticket price $122)

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office March 15-17
1. Captain Marvel $69.3M
2. Wonder Park $16M
3. Five Feet Apart $13.2M
4. How To Train Your Dragon: Hidden World $9.4M
5. Madea Family Funeral $8M
6. No Manches Frida 2 $3.9M
7. Captive State $3.2M
8. Lego Movie 2 $2.1M
9. Alita: Battle Angel $1.9M
10. Green Book $1.3M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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COLLEGE

BodyArmor Into NCAA
No. 1 Colleges Since '92
Notre Dame Builds Brand
Cancer Drives Home
Men's Hoops Are 'Toxic'

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
SUPER BOWL LIII

Thursday
May242018

Disney, ESPN, UFC $1.5B Deal Pins Downs Exclusive Alliance Across Linear, Digital

By Barry Janoff

May 23, 2018: Earlier this month, calling it “a home run for ESPN and UFC,” Walt Disney Co. and the MMA circuit signed a five-year media rights agreement for exclusive live UFC content on ESPN+, as well as across a variety of ESPN TV, social and digital platforms.

That was the first rights and distribution agreement between the two companies.

Now comes the second, even larger five-year, $1.5 billion deal, which will put all UFC programming on the self-proclaimed “World Wide Leader in Sports.”

The entire rights package moves from Fox Sports starting January 2019, when ESPN+ and ESPN become the exclusive digital and linear distributors in the U.S. for UFC, showcasing 42 live events, 30 of which will feature a full card of 12 UFC bouts.

ESPN linear networks will broadcast ten exclusive events as well as all UFC pay-per-view preliminary fights, while ESPN+, the recently-launched multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service, will offer 20 exclusive events and all preliminary fights for UFC on ESPN Fight Night programs.

Events broadcast on ESPN will be branded UFC on ESPN Fight Night, while events streamed live on ESPN+ will carry the “UFC on ESPN+ Fight Night” moniker.

According to ESPN, “With this agreement, the only destination where fans can watch all UFC programming is the ESPN app, and in the future, the full breadth of content will be available on ESPN+.”

“Every year for the last 18 years, we have taken this sport and brand to another level,” Dana White, president for UFC, said in a statement.

“We find innovative ways to promote our athletes and build stars. Today is another monumental day for UFC, our athletes, and our fans. We are now part of the ESPN family, recognized around the world as the pinnacle in sports broadcasting. I am very excited for this next chapter for UFC.”

The UFC on ESPN programming platform initially was broken down this way:

• UFC on ESPN+ Fight Night  ESPN+ : 20 events
• UFC on ESPN Fight Night  ESPN networks: 10 events
• UFC PPV Preliminary Fights ESPN networks: 12 events

ESPN and UFC will support the alliance with multi-media marketing, including TV, print, digital, social media at at-event activation, but details were not yet revealed.

UFC said it has the youngest fan base among major U.S. sports properties, with a median age of 39, and also comprises a much higher concentration of millennials than its peers, with 41% in the adult 18-34 demographic.

“UFC fans are passionate and loyal and we plan to bring the full power of ESPN’s live coverage, powerful storytelling and unmatched distribution to serve them."

According to Jimmy Pitaro, ESPN President and co-chairman, Disney Media Networks, “ESPN’s unparalleled multimedia platform is the perfect home for the UFC and will deliver tremendous value to both parties.

“UFC fans are passionate and loyal and we plan to bring the full power of ESPN’s live coverage, powerful storytelling and unmatched distribution to serve them in an unprecedented fashion. We can’t wait to get started.”

In addition to live, exclusive events, the lineup of UFC content available to ESPN+ subscribers is scheduled to include exclusive pre- and post-event shows for all 15 UFC on ESPN+ Fight Nights; UFC-branded content, including “UFC Countdown” shows, press conferences, weigh-ins and pre-and post-shows; exclusive, new seasons of Dana White’s Contender Series (beginning June 2019).


Also available will be non-exclusive access to UFC’s full archive of programming, including historic events, classic bouts and original programming.

ESPN said it would offer a variety of UFC content across ESPN linear and digital platforms, including an exclusive, 30-minute special previewing upcoming bouts and breaking down match-ups leading up to each UFC PPV; hundreds of hours of UFC library programming on linear networks; and re-airs of current UFC PPV events.

Disney, UFC Sign $750M Pact For 'UFC on ESPN+ Fight Night,' Other Content

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