Endeavor CEO Sees Coming Wave of Content Spending

    • A new wave of content spending is coming, according to Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel, who sees more consolidation coming.
    • Fighting, like Endeavor's UFC, has been an entry point for mid-sized media companies.

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Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel sees a consolidating media ecosystem that is hungry for content, putting producers like Endeavor — and all types of sports leagues — in a strong position.

There’s a finite number of creators and intellectual property to meet the demand, therefore increasing the value,” Emanuel told Deadline. He added, “investments will continue,” and that “prices are going up in every situation.”

Nowhere is that phenomenon more evident than in the prices commanded for the NFL’s latest media deals, which saw the league secure $113 billion for broadcasting rights through 2033.

Boxing and other ring sports, such as the Endeavor-owned Ultimate Fighting Championship, have been an entry point for mid-sized media companies to build an audience. 

  • DAZN has focused on boxing and niche sports, while also moving into European soccer through its deals for Serie A’s international rights and reported interest in Premier League rights.
  • Triller has also focused on fighting, while making inroads through alternative leagues such as Big3 basketball. 
  • Showtime’s broadcast of the exhibition fight between Logan Paul and Floyd Mayweather cost viewers $49.99 a piece. Mayweather is estimated to have made between $50 million to $100 million and Paul between $5 million to $20 million. 

Major media companies are building large libraries of legacy and original content as they scramble for streaming subscribers, while exploring crossover possibilities with podcasts, music, merchandise, and other media. 

“You can bet that Amazon didn’t buy MGM just to leverage the library,” said Endeavor president Mark Shapiro, referencing the company’s $8.45 billion acquisition. “There’s going to be a lot of buying. There’s going to be a lot of original programming and there’s going to be a lot of spending.”