Dana White believes a cocaine scandal led to the UFC getting a blockbuster deal from ESPN.
The UFC president spoke to Grant Cardone about how former ESPN president John Skipper didn’t wish to deliver the MMA promotion to the community. Nevertheless, his 2017 resignation opened up a path, the NY Submit reviews.
Watch Dwell UFC with ESPN on Kayo. Full Combat Night time Occasions, PPV Prelims, Final Fighter Collection & Extra. New to Kayo? Begin your free trial now >
“I’ll inform you a loopy story,” White stated, as lined by MMA Mania.
“You ever hear of John Skipper? John Skipper ran ESPN. Now, I feel he runs DAZN. Runs ESPN, beloved, seems just like the squarest dude on the planet. Older man. Hates UFC. Hates it. Hates UFC. Huge soccer man. For no matter cause, folks like various things. And I’m not sh-ting on John Skipper. However this can be a reality, this occurred and this can be a true story.
“John Skipper, beloved at ESPN, ESPN’s on the prime of their recreation,” White continued.
“These guys are killing it in income, they’re getting $5 per subscriber when cable was the most important it’s ever been. So, our FOX deal is up and we’re in all probability not gonna do one other take care of FOX. They’re promoting off cable networks and restructuring. So that they’re not the identical firm after we signed with them. And John Skipper’s by no means, ever gonna take the UFC. So, we’re in an actual robust place.”
Circumstances far past White’s management would coalesce in his favour, and UFC would in the end air on ESPN’s streaming service, ESPN+.
“John Skipper’s cocaine seller is gonna rat him out,” White continued. “So he has to inform Disney ‘My cocaine seller is gonna go public’ or no matter, so he has to step down from ESPN, proper on the time we’re attempting to make a brand new TV deal. Who do they make president? Jimmy Pitaro, who ran Yahoo! Sports activities for years. I’ve identified him a very long time. He’s a terrific dude, and he loves the UFC. Now you bought him, you bought a man named Kevin Mayer, who is de facto near (Endeavour CEO) Ari (Emanuel), and we ended up doing the ESPN deal when our deal was up.”
Skipper, who instructed ESPN ebook writer Jim Miller about how he was extorted by a cocaine seller, has landed for the reason that scandal. Early final 12 months, he left DAZN to launch Meadowlark Media with fellow ESPN ex-pat Dan Le Batard. They shortly landed a $50 million content material licensing take care of DraftKings, and later agreed to a first-look take care of Apple for documentaries and scripted sequence. Final month, they debuted a three-part docuseries on Amazon masking the soccer rivalry between the US and Mexico.
This text initially appeared on the NY Submit and was reproduced with permission.