UFC strikes rights deal in Russia, CIS

Media Telecom, a joint venture between Russian telco Rostelecom and National Media Group, has agreed a rights deal with mixed martial arts promotion the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The three-year deal, covering 2019 to 2021, sees Media-Telecom become the exclusive distributor of UFC events in Russia and nine neighbouring countries, which were not specified in an announcement.

Media-Telecom said that it this year plans to launch a dedicated UFC television channel, which will be available through the main packages of Rostelecom’s networks.

UFC coverage will also be provided through the digital platforms of Rostelecom, National Media Group and CTC Media, including more.tv, the launch of which is scheduled for the first quarter of 2019.

In addition, the partners plan to jointly market the UFC’s OTT service, Fight Pass, in Russia and the CIS.

Alexander Kosarim, general director of Media-Telecom, said: “In our country, the UFC’s popularity has increased through the success of Russian fighters, including the unforgettable victories of Khabib Nurmagomedov.

“We will work to ensure that as much as possible the spectacular TV and video content from the UFC is available to all fans in Russia and in the territories of the nine countries across all distribution media, including on-air, cable and interactive TV networks, as well as digital platforms.”