HomeNewsMixed Martial Arts (MMA)Russia

UFC TV launches in Russia and CIS

The UFC and Russian company Media Telecom have announced the launch of UFC TV, a dedicated channel in Russia and CIS.

The channel will be available via state-owned telco Rostelecom. UFC events will be broadcast on its basic package and its OTT platform Wink. Rostelecom agreed a three-year distribution deal with the UFC and Media Telecom in December, from 2019 to 2021.

UFC’s previous deal in Russia was with the Telesport agency and ran for two years, covering 2017 and 2018. Telesport sublicensed rights to sports broadcaster Match TV.

The promotion has seen a boost in popularity in Russia over the last few years, largely due to the success of Russian fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is currently UFC lightweight champion.

The first event to be broadcast on UFC TV in Russia will be the UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Overeem on April 20 from Saint Petersburg.

Most recent

Social media giant Facebook’s challenges around its Copa Libertadores coverage in Latin America have convinced it that non-exclusive rights models form “one of the best ways” of breaking into markets where entrenched viewing habits restrict the potential for exclusive rights to grow engagement with the platform.

The Football Association rejected a higher bid for domestic FA Cup rights for the 2021-25 cycle from incumbent pay-television broadcaster BT Sport in favour of commercial broadcaster ITV, SportBusiness Media understands, in a move that took the competition exclusively free to air in the UK.

Spanish football’s LaLiga extended its rights deal in China with Wuhan DDMC Culture in May without going to market, where it would have faced a tough task maintaining its income, SportBusiness Media understands. The Chinese rights market has cooled since the previous deal was agreed, and DDMC is thought to be paying the league a strong rights fee.

South African pay-television operator Multichoice is facing the biggest challenge in its 26-year history in the form of a two-pronged regulatory attack on its dominant position in the country’s sports-rights market.