Setanta Sports, the international pay-TV operator, has entered into a multi-year broadcast deal with mixed martial arts’ Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), stretching across 11 Eurasian countries.
For the length of the deal, the broadcaster will provide exclusive UFC coverage – for all live events as well as shoulder programming – to fans in Georgia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
The network, headquartered in Ireland but with a Eurasia-specific division, will also “produce locally-focused UFC content featuring the many up and coming fighters from countries in the Setanta Sports broadcast footprint.”
The deal marks an extension of UFC rights for Setanta in Ukraine, but a new deal in all the other territories, with Russia’s Media Telecom holding rights across the other 10 countries between 2019-21.
Content will be available on the Setanta Sports Eurasia linear channels, as well as on the setantasports.com over-the-top platform.
As well as this, the broadcaster will offer coverage in several languages including Russian, Georgian, Ukrainian, and Kazakh.
The deal has been struck following a distribution partnership agreed upon between UFC and Saran Media Group, the prominent Turkish media operation, across those same CIS countries earlier this month.
Setanta Sports Eurasia is adding UFC to a sporting portfolio that also features top-tier soccer – from England, Italy, Spain, Germany, and France – as well as premium basketball, ice hockey, tennis, golf, and motorsport.
In October last year, it also added electric motor racing to its stable, through a deal with the Extreme E series.
Juba Grigola, Setanta’s director of sports, said: “We are excited to bring UFC fans an innovative and high-quality approach to UFC broadcasts … This long term partnership means customers will be able to watch local athletes and the world’s best fighters at an affordable price on multiple devices.”
In January, UFC struck a long-term agreement with US media giant Discovery across the Netherlands and Spain.
Under a six-year deal, UFC events will be streamed exclusively in the Netherlands on the Discovery+ subscription streaming service and in Spain via the company’s pan-European sports broadcaster Eurosport.
The new multi-year partnership between Discovery and UFC will include all live events and studio coverage for viewers in the Netherlands and Spain.
The next scheduled UFC event, UFC 272, will take place on March 6.