The UFC recently crowned their first Chinese UFC champion in Weili Zhang, and the promotion is looking to immediately cash in on the historic moment for the country.
According to the New York Post, the UFC is looking to capitalize on Zhang’s accomplishment and double their current broadcast fees in China. The report notes that the company signed a five-year, $50 million deal in 2016, and they’re now looking for a new one in the range of “$100 million or $20 million a year.”
The original agreement has yet to expire, but the report states that the UFC is already negotiating with their current partner in PPTV Sports, as well as other tech giants with streaming services in Alibaba and Tencent.
To give an idea on how profitable the sports market is in China, Tencent and PPTV recently struck lucrative deals with other sports organizations in the NBA ($1.5 billion) and the English Premier League ($700M), respectively.
The UFC has also invested in the Chinese market by opening a UFC Performance Institute in Shanghai. The 93,000 square foot facility is about three times bigger than its counterpart in Las Vegas, and it hosts not only MMA fighters, but also Chinese Olympic athletes.
Zhang knocked out then strawweight champion Jessica Andrade in just 42 seconds as the main event for UFC Shenzhen last August.