Today the UFC officially announced that it is renewing it’s partnership with BT Sport, speculation was that SKY TV may have snatched the rights as they were running some MMA related stories recently.
SKY run a PPV model for boxing and WWE events, something that is untested in the UK MMA market. Nothing was released whether the UFC would have moved into the PPV market if a deal with SKY was met but with the BT renewal it can be assured that it is business as usual when it comes to viewing UFC content in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
The full press release is below.
“UFC® today announced a renewal of the successful existing broadcast partnership with BT Sport, which will see the UK sports channel broadcast over 150 hours of live UFC events a year.
The renewed partnership sees BT Sport retain the exclusive live rights within the UK and Republic of Ireland, while enhancing their content by offering every UFC event across the globe, including all US numbered pay-per-view events and all EMEA events live.
The announcement comes ahead of the highly anticipated rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz at UFC 202: Diaz vs McGregor 2 in Las Vegas. McGregor will be set on revenge after suffering his first loss in the UFC in March 2016 at the hands of Diaz, who stepped in to take the fight on just 2 weeks notice. All the action fromUFC 202: Diaz vs. McGregor 2 will be broadcast live on BT Sport.
— BT Sport UFC (@btsportufc) July 27, 2016
During the successful partnership between BT Sport and UFC, which begin in 2013, MMA has seen a marked increase in popularity in the UK and the Republic of Ireland as UFC content and events became widely accessible through BT Sport. The sport cemented its place as one of the fastest growing and most entertaining sports in the world.
James Elliott, General Manager and Vice President UFC EMEA, said: “There is no doubt that our initial partnership with BT Sport placed UFC and the sport of MMA in front of an engaged sports audience, and helped to grow the sport in the UK & Ireland. This renewal is a signal from both organisations that there is clearly more to come and that BT Sport provides the perfect platform on which to continue to grow the sport of MMA and UFC. The potential for growth for both organisations is huge and we are delighted to be continuing our partnership and to building something special.”
Simon Green, Head of BT Sport said “UFC were one of the first partners that we announced back in 2013 when we launched BT Sport. Since then we have both come a long way and I’m very happy to announce today that we will continue to grow the sport with even more exclusive UFC action live on BT Sport.”