Sony Pictures Network (SPN), the Indian broadcasting group, will continue to air the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the global mixed martial arts promotion, after renewing its exclusive rights deal through 2028.
The renewal, which covers India and the Indian subcontinent, will see SPN retain the rights to broadcast 42 live UFC events, including 12 numbered pay-per-view shows and 30 UFC Fight Night events, as well as original programs such as UFC Countdown, UFC Connected, archived content, and Contender Series, which features up-and-coming talent.
As part of the package, SPN will also continue to broadcast Road To UFC for Asia’s top MMA prospects. So far, four Indian athletes have participated in the tournament, with season one winner Anshul Jubli gaining a UFC contract.
SPN’s UFC content will be shown via Sony Ten 2 in English, Sony Ten 3 in Hindi, and Sony Ten 4 in Tamil and Telugu, as well as on its video-on-demand service SonyLIV.
The partnership between SPN and UFC spans almost a decade, with the last renewal between the pair struck in 2019, which saw the broadcaster retain rights to show live, on-demand, and highlights of top UFC bouts until 2023.
SPN is also the exclusive live broadcaster of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), which merged with UFC under a new commercial entity, TKO Group, last year.
Kevin Chang, UFC senior vice president and head of Asia, said: “Sony has been a valuable and trusted partner, helping to expand the UFC brand in many ways, from their 'Ultimate Guide to UFC' show to their media and social promotions.
“Together with Sony Sports Network, we're excited to usher in the next generation of Indian talent in UFC.”
The deal comes shortly after TKO Group announced it had combined the commercial teams of UFC and WWE to provide “brands with access to one of the most formidable sports marketing portfolios in the world.”
Combined, TKO boasts more than 1 billion fans worldwide, reaching viewers in 180 countries, and producing more than 350 annual live events.
Grant Norris-Jones, who has held senior commercial roles at UFC for over seven years, has been elevated to lead the integrated unit as executive vice president and head of global partnerships for TKO, which includes the entirety of UFC and WWE properties.