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Ariel Helwani is leaving ESPN, multiple sources tell OutKick.
When reached by OutKick, ESPN confirmed that Helwani will depart the network:
“We thank Ariel for his many contributions to ESPN’s MMA coverage and beyond. We had hoped to have him continue in that role and made him an offer to remain with ESPN,” the network said in a statement. “He chose to explore new opportunities and we wish him the best.”
It’s not clear where Helwani is headed or even if that decision is final. Helwani has at least spoken to Meadowlark Media, Showtime, and Action Network, sources add.
Helwani has spoken to a few different outlets. One to keep an eye on as a possibility: The Action Network. https://t.co/GSni6v73YC
— Bobby Burack (@burackbobby_) June 6, 2021
Industry sources believe that, with the UFC’s growth, Helwani, the sport’s most known reporter, has the opportunity to build something away from traditional media with non-exclusive distribution partners.