Mixed Martial Arts

Latest Features

The value of Ultimate Fighting Championship rights has fallen in the Philippines, but local sources say the result is still a good one for the promotion and its owner, IMG, given current market dynamics

African pay-television broadcaster SuperSport completed a complex negotiation with the Ultimate Fighting Championship last week, signing off on a new five-year contract. The deal is worth $1.2m (€1.1

DAZN has acquired exclusive Ultimate Fighting Championship rights in Germany and Austria, more than doubling the previous value of the rights. OTT service DAZN will pay just under $2m (€1.7

Eleven Sports has acquired exclusive rights to the Ultimate Fighting Championship in the UK and Ireland for the next three years, paying a lower minimum guarantee than its predecessor BT
USA

Doubling up with ESPN will earn the Ultimate Fighting Championship $300m (€258m) per year from media-rights sales from 2019 to 2023 – a good result given the absence of aggressive bidding from incumbent Fox.

Pay-television broadcaster Abu Dhabi Media has launched a specialist combat sports channel, Abu Dhabi Fight, which is exclusively available via telco Etisalat

Russian OTT streaming platform Okko Sport has launched a dedicated mixed martial arts subscription package on the back of its rights deal with US-based promotion Bellator
USA

The Bellator mixed martial arts promotion has signed a media rights deal in the United States with CBS Sports, with live events to be aired on cable channel CBS Sports Network.

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

Features

USA

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has completed the first of its US non-pay-per-view deals from 2019, selling exclusive rights to a package of 15 events to media group Disney

UK mixed martial arts promotion Cage Warriors is aiming to become a pan-European operation by the end of 2019, as it looks to diversify its income in the face of uncertainty over the future of its most important rights deal.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s new deal in Poland is aimed at elevating its brand in the country, which has long been dominated by local promotion KSW.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has earned an increase of about 38 per cent for rights to its second-tier Fight Night events in Australia, but has had to remove incumbent Fox Sports’ exclusivity in o…

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has turned the tide to earn a significant increase from its pan-regional pay-television rights deal with Fox Sports Asia.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has begun a complete overhaul of its media rights in Latin America and Mexico, exiting its joint venture with Televisa in favour of a more traditional deal with former partner Fox Sports.

The Fight Globe agency, founded in 2012 by Sabine Kesseler and Nino Ockhuysen, is attempting to bridge the gap between broadcasters and combat sports promotions.

South African mixed martial arts promotion the Extreme Fighting Championship will have its events shown live on public-service broadcaster the SABC for the next two years, increasing its exposure in its home market.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship is preparing to ditch pay-per-view as its main media-rights revenue stream in the US, as owners WME|IMG seek to increase the guaranteed revenue of July’s $3.775bn (€3.522bn) acquisition.

Interview with Craig and Richard Miele, chief executives of Fight Sports, on their acquisition strategy and wider business.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship is set to complete a new deal in the UK and Ireland with incumbent broadcaster BT Sport which will more than double its current media-rights income.

Negotiations between mixed martial arts promotion the Ultimate Fighting Championship and BT Sport over a renewal of their deal have stalled in recent weeks, leaving the door open to other broadcasters.

Telco Econet Wireless has paid a huge increase to land rights to the Extreme Fighting Championship across sub-Saharan Africa.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship bolstered its UFC Fight Pass OTT subscription service last month, maintaining its position as the world’s most content-rich combat channel.

The Chinese digital market’s seemingly never-ending growth boosted another property last month, as the Ultimate Fighting Championship agreed a lucrative deal with PPTV Sports.

Media rights clips from December 17 to January 20

The Ultimate Fighting Championship last month signed off its first English-language broadcast deal in sub-Saharan Africa, plugging a large gap in its global footprint.

Pay-television channel BTV, owned by Portuguese Primeira Liga club Benfica, this month acquired exclusive rights to three second-tier properties in Portugal.

Interview with Domingos Soares de Oliveira, chief executive of Benfica; Bernardo Faria de Carvalho, director of sales & international expansion at Benfica, on BTV's past, present and future.