UFC had a standing offer from Fox for $200-250m per year (depending on the amount of content). it was a take it or leave it offer. THR reports it at $175m now (since they gave so much to ESPN+) Did UFC say no (rumors of others have bid this month)? https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/n...ve-five-year-1-billion-deal-smackdown-1113701 The new deal, which is nearing completion, is expected to begin in October 2019, and will mark a three-fold increase over what NBCUniversal is currently paying. Fox will be the anticipated home of WWE SmackDown Live in a massive new five-year deal worth more than $1 billion, sources close to the negotiations tell The Hollywood Reporter. The new deal, which is nearing completion and is worth $205 million annually, is expected to begin in October 2019, and will mark a three-fold increase over what NBCUniversal is currently paying WWE to air SmackDown on its USA network. WWE is said to have had an even higher bid from a third party - and enthusiastic interest overall. But WWE executives are said to have embraced Fox's commitment to heavily promote SmackDown across a robust sports portfolio that includes the NFL and Major League Baseball. The deal would split WWE programming rights with NBC, which is expected to retain Raw. Smack is averaging 2.59 million viewers a week so far this year, while Raw is pulling about 3 million. Both programs currently air on USA. And the WWE had a significant part in the network's May 14 upfront presentation to advertisers with Stephanie McMahon, WWE's chief brand officer, introducing several female wrestlers including former UFC star Ronda Rousey. The Fox deal dovetails with the Murdoch-controlled network’s anticipated programming pivot in the wake of the Disney acquisition of much of 21st Century Fox assets. “New Fox” as its been quasi officially dubbed, will include the Fox broadcast network and owned stations, Fox News and Fox Sports, which includes cable nets FS1 and FS2 as well as the Big Ten Network. And Fox's May 14 upfront presentation to advertisers unveiled a shift away from edgy, urbane fare toward broad programming with appeal beyond coastal confines to middle America. The network will spend more than $3 billion for five seasons of Thursday Night Football, and already shells out more than $1 billion annually for its top-rated Sunday NFL package, which runs through 2022. It’s unclear what effect if any, the WWE deal will have on Fox Sports’ calculation in renewing its UFC rights package, which expires at the end of the year. The Endeavor-owned promotion recently finalized a $750 million deal with ESPN+, the Disney-owned sports giants’ still nascent OTT service. And sources close to that deal have told THR that Fox is willing to pay about $175 million annually for the MMA promotion.