The renewal to the partnership, which began in 2013, will see BT Sport broadcast every UFC event around the world live, including all of the US numbered events which are pay-per-view for US viewers.
— BT Sport UFC (@btsportufc) July 27, 2016
The timing of the announcement is ideal for BT Sport with the mixed martial arts organisation preparing for one of the most anticipated events of the year when Conor McGregor takes on Nate Diaz at UFC 202 on 20 August, which will be broadcast live on BT Sport.
With UFC cementing its place as one of the fastest growing sports in the world, Simon Green, head of BT Sport, was “delighted” to confirm the new rights deal.
“UFC were one of the first partners that we announced back in 2013 when we launched BT Sport. Since then we have both come a long way and I’m very happy to announce today that we will continue to grow the sport with even more exclusive UFC action live on BT Sport.”
The UFC’s general manager and vice-president across EMEA, James Elliott, said there was “no doubt” that the initial partnership with the broadcaster had placed UFC and the sport of MMA “in front of an engaged sports audience, and helped to grow the sport in the UK & Ireland”.
He added: “This renewal is a signal from both organisations that there is clearly more to come and that BT Sport provides the perfect platform on which to continue to grow the sport of MMA and UFC. The potential for growth for both organisations is huge and we are delighted to be continuing our partnership and to building something special.”
BT Sport’s pledge to show more than 150 hours of UFC action per-year also includes on-demand content such as full fight replays, classic fights, fighter profiles, series such as The Ultimate Fighter and more.
The decision to continue its coverage of the UFC comes just weeks after the organisation was purchased for $4bn in a deal which UFC president Dana White said would help propel the sport even further and strengthen its presence in lucrative new markets such as China.
EE customers are also expected to benefit from the deal following BT's new content tie-up with its mobile operator which will offer mobile subscribers six months free access to BT Sport.