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Nent adds UFC rights to Icelandic offering

Nordic Entertainment (Nent) Group has acquired rights to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the Endeavor-owned mixed martial arts promotion, in Iceland.

The deal begins this weekend, on August 30, and will run until the end of 2021.

Nent already has a deal in place with the UFC for rights in the rest of the Nordic region, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, also running until the end of 2021.

UFC rights in Iceland were previously held by media company Sýn, owner of the Stöð Sport pay-television channels.

Nent will stream every UFC event on its Viaplay OTT service in Iceland as well as the preliminary events involving a Nordic fighter, including the popular Icelandic Gunnar Nelson.

UFC international rights – those outside of the US – are sold by the IMG agency, also owned by Endeavor.

As part of Nent’s UFC deal in the rest of the Nordics, the January event involving global star Conor McGregor was shown on pay-per-view.

Nent launched Viaplay in Iceland this year and has already acquired a host of sports rights in the country, including: Formula 1 (from 2022), German Bundesliga (from 2021-22), Danish Superliga, Swedish Allsvenskan, Scottish Premiership, Dutch Eredivisie, German handball Bundesliga, Major League Baseball, WTA tennis, French Division 1 Féminine, NASCAR, Concacaf Nations League, and the 2021 Copa América.

Nent has said that Viaplay has had more than 8 per cent of the country’s households subscribing to its ‘Films & Series’ or ‘Total’ (films, series and sports) package.

Kim Mikkelsen, group head of sport at Nent, said: “Viaplay’s launch in Iceland has been very successful and we now have even more premium sports to offer.

“With over 300 million fans worldwide, UFC is the pinnacle of MMA and Icelandic fans will enjoy a front-row seat as Gunnar Nelson takes on the world with his black belt Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills and global superstars like Khabib Nurmagomedov continue to write UFC history.”

David Shaw, senior vice-president, international and content at the UFC, added: “UFC has had a very successful partnership with Nent Group over the years, and we are thrilled to be adding Iceland to complete their Nordic coverage of UFC.”