The WWE has always been a ratings machine. While the company is currently struggling and ain’t producing constant four point ratings anymore, though at least 2-3 million people still watch the show. The UFC on the other hand have been improving on their ratings. However, they are hugely inconsistent and while one fight card can produce good ratings, the other might end up doing really bad. If certain media reports are to be believed then both these giants might soon be locked in a battle to secure T.V. deals with Fox.
WWE the world’s leading professional wrestling promotion. It was founded by Jess McMahon and Toots Mondt in 1952 and they have become the world’s largest pro-wrestling company. They are currently led by Vince McMahon as the Chairman and CEO, and is also responsible for making the company the billion dollar giant, it is today. On the other hand, UFC is the world’s premier MMA promotion and are effectively credited for promoting MMA. They are currently leading the ratings war in MMA and constantly sell hundreds of thousand of PPV’s.
Both of these companies have lost their biggest stars. WWE have lost stars like Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, etc. Whereas, the UFC have also lost big names like Conor McGregor, Brock Lesnar, Georges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva, Chuck Liddell, etc. Hence, their ratings and PPV sales have dropped considerably.
WWE currently have a T.V. deal with the U.S.A network which makes them around $160 million a year. UFC currently make a $168 million from a deal with Fox. Fox network are eager to bid for WWE’s T.V. rights, and could make a bid of around $400 million or more to secure it. The UFC want a similar deal but the Fox network officials aren’t interested in shelling out that much money for the UFC. Hence, the two giants are now locked in a battle to secure a deal with Fox. If notable combat sports journalist, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is to be believed then the WWE have a huge advantage because of their recent acquisition of Ronda Rousey. Here’s what he had to say:
“WWE ratings are strong compared to the rest of television, especially cable, for FS1 and their sports brands, it hurts that WWE isn’t actually sports. That’s a mental hurdle, but (WWE) draws more viewers than anything on FS1 other than NASCAR and baseball playoffs.
The best thing for women’s MMA and pro wrestling was Rousey’s success in MMA, UFC was drawing giant numbers with women because of her. If anything they have their Hulk Hogan, and the men have Roman Reigns.
They may change the date or time your show airs, or move it off the channel, WWE would probably not do as well advertising wise. It’s all in the negotiation. There’s no guarantees.”