London, UK – The Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) has signed a breakthrough broadcast agreement with BT for its UK and Ireland television rights.
The three-year partnership will see all of UFC’s live and taped programming broadcast on the BT Sport channels and, for the first time, will include originally produced programming for the UK and Irish audience with exclusive access which will result in up to 400 hours of TV programming to UFC’s loyal fanbase.
BT will begin airing UFC programming from the summer, with the premiere event live on 3rd August.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship continues to develop a strong UK fanbase and this agreement will allow audiences to access a wider range of programming, including more than 30 live broadcasts from around the globe and additional localised and original content, which will help to grow interest in the UFC.
Garry Cook, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of UFC EMEA, said “The keys to success for UFC, in broadcast terms, are to identify strategic partners who are committed to building the business together beyond just airing non-European premium live content. UFC athletes are the most committed and dedicated in the world of sport and this new relationship will help people gain a more in depth understanding of the sport and our brand.”
Simon Green, Head of BT Sport, said “We’re delighted to have signed this agreement with UFC. We’ve said BT Sport will offer a wide range of sports that appeal to different audiences and we know that UFC has a huge, committed fanbase in the UK and Ireland and we hope they will be excited about our plans to develop the coverage of the sport”.
UFC fans will be able to watch all of their favourite programming on the BT Sport channels including current favourite, The Ultimate Fighter®, which is the world’s longest running sports reality TV show.
UFC adds to prestigious roster of elite sports being shown on the BT Sport channels including Barclays Premier League football, FA Cup, Aviva Premiership Rugby union and the WTA tour.
UFC’s EMEA growth has been unprecedented and continues to define the sports landscape with recent shows in London and Stockholm selling out and showcasing some of the UK and Ireland’s up and coming talent. In 2012 there were over 11,000,000 UK visits to the UFC official website, and the organisation plans to announce further shows in the country to continue to build its fan base and assist the launch of this broadcast relationship.
Garry Cook continues: “This agreement is a landmark step in UFC’s development in the UK as it will increase our exposure to a much wider and more mainstream sporting audience. It means that the UK joins USA, Canada, Australia and Brazil as one of our largest TV broadcast markets.
“BT Sport certainly shares our vision for the premium quality broadcast of elite performance sport for our UK audience and we’re very excited about the strategic partnership we’ve entered into. We look forward to working alongside them and showing a wider fan base how exciting and engaging the UFC is.”
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