16 March - 24 April 2020

Our online festival is underway with a packed programme of interviews and panels. Featuring talks from the industry’s biggest brands and most innovative individuals, this event explores what digital transformation really means for marketing.

Coming Up
9 Apr 10:00 BST / 05:00 EST

Time to ditch the pitch?

Chris Sutcliffe
Editor at The Drum Network
Julie Cohen
Chief Executive Officer at Across The Pond
Bridey Lipscombe
Managing Director and Co-founder at Cult LDN

BT Sport agrees new broadcast deal with UFC

BT Sport agrees new UFC broadcast deal

BT Sport has renewed its partnership with the UFC to retain the exclusive broadcast rights in the UK and Ireland to one of the fastest growing sports in the world.

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.

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.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.