UFC co-owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta are featured on the cover of the May 5th edition of Forbes magazine. The cover article is titled “Ultimate Cash Machine”. The article is a must read for any MMA fan, both hardcores and noobs alike. It details the financial success of the UFC, describes how the Fertitta brothers got involved in the casino business, and talks about how Frank and Lorenzo almost pulled their investment in 2004.
WATCH a Forbes video interview with the Fertitta’s.
Here is an excerpt on the UFC’s success today:
It’s the Ultimate Money Machine. That night before the Super Bowl 10,700 fans packed the arena, paying an average of $340 for a ticket to witness nine mixed martial arts fights. Another 500,000 fans paid $45 ($55 for high definition) to watch five of the nine fights at home. The total haul from the event: $25 million.
This year UFC is likely to generate $250 million, capturing perhaps 90% of mixed martial arts revenue. The majority of UFC revenues come from the monthly pay-per-view events. Additional cash is made from ticket sales to live fights and licensing fees from its Spike cable shows The Ultimate Fighter and UFC Fight Night . These shows in turn act as promotional tools to drive fans to pay-per-view events. More scratch comes from sales of DVDs and T shirts, as well as downloads from UFC’s library of past bouts.”
Quote from Dana White about the competition:
“White, who believes MMA will be a $1 billion (sales) industry within five years, has a different take: “I’m flattered that Frank, Lorenzo and I have made this business look so easy. But CBS doesn’t understand the fight business, and Mark Cuban doesn’t know anything about the fight business, either. All he’s concerned with is drawing subscribers to HDNet so he can sell out to Time Warner or Comcast.”
“Lorenzo Fertitta says the competition will ultimately redound to his company: “We are like football and the NFL. The sport of mixed martial arts is known by one name: UFC.”