It’s now confirmed. After months of speculation, the UFC today announced Eleven Sports will be the UFC’s official broadcaster in the UK and Ireland.
The UFC’s current deal with BT Sport expires at the end of the year, and Eleven Sports will begin theirs from January 2019.
This new deal sees Eleven Sports secure the rights to broadcast 42 live UFC events in 2019. Meanwhile, the deal allows them to make some events available in partnership with other broadcast platforms.
Eleven Sports is currently an online-only subscription service, but plan to launch two channels in the UK and Ireland according to The Sun.
The broadcaster, owned by Leeds United chairman Andrea Radrizzani, has already made a splash in the sports TV market, having already snapped up Spanish and Italian football coverage.
Read the UFC’s full press release announcing the deal below:
LONDON, UK, 27 September 2018 – ELEVEN SPORTS and UFC have today announced a new broadcast partnership for the UK and Ireland starting in January 2019. The global sports provider has further strengthened its growing offer for sports fans by securing the rights to all 42 live UFC events in 2019, as well as over 150 hours of UFC original and archive programming in a multi-year agreement.
UFC Fight Nights will be shown live on ELEVEN SPORTS, whilst ELEVEN will have the option to make some events available in partnership with other broadcast platforms.
Fight Nights that are shown live on ELEVEN SPORTS will also be available on demand in full after the event.
UFC, the world’s leading MMA organisation, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and has grown to be a premium global sports brand, with over 284 million fans globally. As well as holding successful events all over the world, 2018 brought two sell out shows to the UK– firstly at the O2 Arena in London, and secondly in Liverpool, which saw No.2 welterweight contender and hometown hero Darren Till defeat Stephen Thompson.
The partnership with ELEVEN SPORTS provides UFC with a new broadcast home in the UK and Ireland, where it will receive centre stage treatment and provide the passionate and dedicated fans incredible access to all the action from around the world.
“UFC has become a massive brand which has built a hugely dedicated and engaged following over 25 years, making it a perfect fit for our fan centric strategy,” said Danny Menken, Group Managing Director, ELEVEN SPORTS. “We are a big supporter of combat sports across our global markets and the fresh and innovative approach that we have taken with our properties has been very successful. We are looking forward to creating the same added value for the legions of MMA fans in the UK and Ireland”
“We have worked very successfully with ELEVEN SPORTS in Belgium and Luxembourg and we are looking forward to extending our partnership here in the UK and Ireland,” said David Shaw, UFC Senior Vice President, International and Content. “The UK and Ireland are amongst UFC’s strongest markets globally and with ELEVEN SPORTS making a significant impact here, it made perfect sense to partner with them to showcase our thrilling product to our loyal and passionate fans.”
UFC is the latest major sports rights property to have its broadcast rights acquired by ELEVEN SPORTS, following the addition of top-flight football leagues, LaLiga (Spain), Serie A (Italy), Eredivisie (Netherlands), Chinese Super League (from 2019) and Allsvenskan (Sweden) – all exclusively live in the UK and Ireland for the next three seasons.
All the action will be distributed on ELEVEN’s online streaming platform via www.elevensports.uk, and iOS and Android mobile and tablet apps, without the need for set top boxes, bundled packages or contracts. Fans can also watch on traditional TV screens by casting on Google Chromecast.
An ELEVEN SPORTS Monthly Pass is available for £5.99, whilst an ELEVEN SPORTS Annual Pass can be secured for £59.99.
ELEVEN is also in discussion with all major broadcast platforms, third party streaming services and smart TV manufacturers to offer the widest possible access to the world-class action for all sports fans. This is in line with the ‘platform agnostic’ approach ELEVEN SPORTS employs in all its international markets, making it as easy as possible for fans to access the sports they love.