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UFC president asks fans to be patient as championship seeks new UK deal

Dana White, the president of mixed martial arts promoter the Ultimate Fighting Championship, called for UK fans to be patient as the promoter tries to agree a new television rights deal in what he described as a tough market.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the UFC’s relationship with its current broadcast partner in the UK, pay-television broadcaster ESPN, “has been foundering of late.” The newspaper said that White is unsatisfied with the level of coverage ESPN has given the championship. ESPN acquired the rights in 2009, after the previous rights-holder, pay-television broadcaster Setanta, went bust.

“The UK is a very tough place to navigate as far as television goes, and we’ve been trying to figure the market out,” said White. “The fans are there. We go to the arenas, the arenas are packed out. The fans want it.”