Tuesday, April 23

UFC Produced Record Revenue Of $1.3 billion Without Conor McGregor

Highlights

  • UFC thrives financially without McGregor, seeing a record 13% revenue increase in 2023.
  • Bigger than individual stars, UFC’s success stems from live events, sponsorships, media rights.
  • TKO Group Holdings eyes $2.65 billion revenue target for UFC and WWE in 2024, remains optimistic despite challenges.



Conor McGregor has been absent from the UFC octagon for two years, yet recent financial records for the company suggest that the UFC is thriving without him. In 2023, the promotion recorded record revenue of $1.3 billion, marking a notable 13 percent increase. Despite McGregor’s prolonged absence, UFC CEO Dana White has not shown eagerness for the Irish superstar’s return.

White has suggested that McGregor has already accumulated significant wealth and may not need to fight again. Additionally, White has remained ambiguous regarding McGregor’s health status. In contrast, McGregor has expressed frustration over the lack of fight bookings for his return to the UFC and has even contemplated a return to boxing.

Related

Dana White: Conor McGregor’s Return to UFC Not as Simple as it Appears

UFC CEO Dana White shows concern about Conor McGregor’s health in a recent interview.

UFC Sees Huge Boost In Live Event Revenue

Financial Records Show The UFC Is Bigger Than It’s Star Fighters


In 2023, the UFC experienced unprecedented financial success, as revealed in the full-year financial report released by TKO Group Holdings, the parent company of both UFC and WWE. The MMA promotion witnessed substantial growth in live events and sponsorship throughout the year.

The fourth quarter of 2023 alone saw the UFC earn $282.8 million in revenue, up from $271.7 million during the same period in 2022. This surge in revenue was attributed to significant increases in media rights and content fees, live events revenue, and sponsorship revenue.

Notably, live event revenue saw a staggering 34-percent increase, reaching a record $168 million over 43 events in 2023. This growth was primarily driven by ticket sales and site fees. Sponsorship revenue also experienced a substantial 18-percent increase, totaling $196 million for the year, further boosted by a lucrative multi-year deal with Bud Light to become the official beer partner of the UFC.


Media rights and content remained the primary revenue driver, generating $870.6 million for the year, propelled by broadcast deals such as the UFC’s partnership with ESPN.

TKO CEO Ari Emanuel expressed confidence in the company’s future, citing the lucrative deals secured in 2023 and the expansion of the international investments in key growth markets. TKO aims to achieve revenue targets of $2.575 to $2.65 billion for the combined companies of UFC and WWE in 2024.

Looking ahead, negotiations for a new broadcast rights deal for the UFC are set to commence later in the year, with the current contract with ESPN expiring in 2025. Projections suggest that the UFC could potentially secure a deal worth double the current contract, possibly exceeding $3 billion over its duration. However, the UFC faces challenges in 2024, including an impending class-action antitrust lawsuit filed by former fighters seeking substantial damages.


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