Fertitta: We're the most valuable sports franchise

source: nytimes.com

“The U.F.C. is definitely bigger now than boxing or wrestling, maybe even the two combined, though not yet as big as either during their peaks,” said Rich Luker, creator of the ESPN sports poll. “It’s clearly the flavor of the month, but that was once true of poker and then the numbers fell like a rock.”

Three years ago, Forbes Magazine referred to the U.F.C. as the “ultimate cash machine,” worth maybe $1 billion and counting. The ledger books of the parent company, Zuffa, are private but Fertitta said that while he did not know what someone might pay for the U.F.C., “I feel pretty comfortable saying we’re the most valuable sports franchise on the planet, more than Manchester United, more than the New York Yankees, more than the Dallas Cowboys.” That would put it in the $2 billion range.

Frank Fertitta III is ranked No. 355 on the Forbes list of wealthiest Americans, with Lorenzo at No. 359. Each owns 40.5 percent of the U.F.C., with 9 percent belonging to White. Last year, Flash Entertainment, an arm of the government of Abu Dhabi, became a 10 percent partner, brought into the company, according to Lorenzo Fertitta, “because we’re taking this thing worldwide and they can more easily open up those doors than we can.”

There are two consecrated themes in the U.F.C.’s sacred text, and one is the claim that mixed martial arts will be the biggest sport in the world within 10 years, a notion many find unrealistic. But the U.F.C. already has staged successful events in Brazil, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and Abu Dhabi — and next year it is looking to schedule events in Japan, Macao, Singapore and Sweden. “We’re on television in 150 countries,” Fertitta said.

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KwikTempah site profile image  

11/12/11 10:34 AM by KwikTempah

so because you're tired of it .. what ? what's your point ? just that you're tired of hearing it ? or are you saying that because you're tired of hearing it , it's not true ? anyway... I wonder how much UFC would be worth if all the fighters walked out ? if all Man U or DC players walked out they could cherry pick and build another decent team in a month and carry on as normal . same fan base , same fixed assets , same revenue . now if all the teams walked out of the NFL ?? how much would the NFL be worth then ?? skim the top 15-20 fighters off the UFC roster and transplant them in another org , how much is the UFC worth then ? Lorenzo isn't fooling anyone with this "sports franchise" bullshit .makes a decent headline though I guess .

mdh2k10 site profile image  

11/12/11 6:26 AM by mdh2k10

 fixed it for ya

EvilMaster site profile image  

11/12/11 6:20 AM by EvilMaster

They may in fact be the world's most valuable "privately owned" "sports/entertainment" company. But that's about it. To say that they are bigger than the NFL is ludicrous. Multiple single teams in the NFL are worth as much or more than the UFC. The whole league of the NFL is worth hundreds of times more than Zuffa and everything else the Fertitta's own combined. UFC isn't even main stream yet. They are barely sticking one toe into the water of main stream.And boxing is still about a hundred times larger than MMA as well.They still have a long way to go, Lorenzo must be a little delusional right now all high from the Fox deal. He'll come down to reality eventually and realize how stupid this statement is.

Andy the man site profile image  

11/12/11 6:13 AM by Andy the man

Pro Bullriding maybe big in America, but guess what?Nobody else outside of yankee-land gives a fuck about it.Same goes for fucking NASCAR.

Andy the man site profile image  

11/12/11 6:11 AM by Andy the man

You ignorant fuckhead.nobody gives a SHIT about NFL except Yanks.Ok, they have a few games in the UK etc, but Soccer? It's the biggest sport in the world buddy.Go to some shithole in Africa and they will no doubt have a makeshift football, not an American Football.Go to the slums of Africa and see how big Soccer is.Go to the biggest cities in China and see how big Soccer is.Go to Europe and see how big Soccer is.Go to the slums of South America and see how big Soccer is.Soccer is WORLDWIDE.American Football (clue is in the name) IS NOT.You fucking ignorant moron.

axxesmerdas site profile image  

11/11/11 7:02 PM by axxesmerdas

Tired of hearing soccer the biggest sport in the world. It maybe but Americans dont give a rats ass bout soccer. Over here nobody watches soccer. Were a american football country thats why college football is the second biggest sport in america and its not even close.

Humphrey site profile image  

11/11/11 6:58 PM by Humphrey

by the way, the conversation is stupid anyway. you CANNOT compare the UFC to any one franchise, you'd have to compare it as a sport, and the sport which they chose is also silly.the nfl is a registered 501c. they are a NON-PROFIT organization.I mean the entire conversation is silly.

Andy the man site profile image  

11/11/11 6:53 PM by Andy the man

1) Man U/DC (Both are what the other is in their world, if i'm right?)2) UFCThe UFC is behind MU and DC, that's for sure.

axxesmerdas site profile image  

11/11/11 6:52 PM by axxesmerdas

Not comparing the cowboys to the manchester u. I dont know shit about soccer. In america we have this thing called soccer moms. In america soccer gets the least athlethic kids. Where american football and basketball get the real athletes. American wrestling also has mid tier athlethicism because theres no money in it.

My gi is my sword site profile image  

11/11/11 6:51 PM by My gi is my sword

The ufc's potential must be limitless!