US mixed martial arts promotion signs long-term rights deal

US cable television channel AXS TV Fights has agreed a multi-year rights deal with newly-formed mixed martial arts promotion the Legacy Fighting Alliance.

Under the terms of the agreement, AXS TV Fights will broadcast 30 live LFA events in 2017. The additional fights will take the channel’s total number of live events to 45 next year.

AXS TV Fights, whose founder and chief executive is billionaire investor Mark Cuban (pictured), will also extend its live broadcast window to three hours and begin its Friday night broadcasts an hour earlier, at 9pm ET.

To cater for its busier schedule, AXS TV Fights has announced that the Inside MMA news programme will be discontinued following its September 30 episode. The programme has been running since September 2007 and next week will mark its 433rd and final episode.

The LFA has been formed following a merger between the Legacy Fighting Championship and Resurrection Fighting Alliance, which have both been broadcast on ASX TV Fights in the past. The two promotions have previously been regarded as key development series for fighters aspiring for places in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Bellator.