Mixed martial arts organization Ultimate Fighting Championship has been bought by a group led by talent agency WME-IMG for $4 billion.
The UFC made a seven-year broadcast rights deal with Fox Sports in 2011 that paid $100 million a year and raised the league’s profile. Fox Sports aired matches on the Fox broadcast network and its FX and FS1 cable networks. It also aired a reality show about UFC fighters.
“As far as the business goes, our goal was to always take this sport to the next level, and Ari and WME-IMG are the guys to take it from here,” UFC president Dana White told the Los Angeles Times Sunday.
White will continue to serve as president, owner and promoter for UFC. He sold his ownership in UFC and bought a stake in WME-IMG, according to reports.
The UFC’s other owners, Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta will retain a small passive ownership role.
On Saturday, the UFC held UFC 200 in Las Vegas and generated live ticket sales of $10.8 million and what are expected to be record pay-per-view revenues.