The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) mixed martial arts promotion has struck a new exclusive broadcast rights deal in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with regional streaming service Starzplay.

Through a multi-year deal unveiled today, Starzplay will set up a new dedicated Starzplay Sports UFC channel across MENA, while all UFC content will also feature on the service’s mobile app.

Starzplay will cover every UFC event live, including all preliminary bouts, while the network will in addition produce “localized Arabic-language content.” As well as this, it will air on-demand UFC content such as preview shows and original programming.

Last year, Starzplay and Abu Dhabi Media (ADM) held UFC rights across MENA, with ADM also having covered the promotion in 2022.

2023 marked Starzplay’s debut as a UFC broadcaster.

The new partnership begins with UFC 300, with that event to take place in Las Vegas, US, on April 14.

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IMG, the heavyweight agency owned by Endeavor – as is UFC – is the promotion’s international rights distribution partner.

David Shaw, executive vice president and head of international and content at UFC, has said: “Now we will have an incredible platform to broadcast all UFC content to our ever-growing fan base in the Middle East and North Africa. Starzplay has come on board with fresh and innovative thinking on how to tailor our content across the region and we can’t wait to kick things off with UFC 300.”

Andy Warkman, head of sport at Starzplay, added: “Our new dedicated Starzplay Sports UFC channel and UFC on-demand content hub, illustrates our commitment to showcasing world class sport tailored for MENA viewers.”

In terms of UFC’s MENA presence, the region has hosted 17 events to this point, most prominently in the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, will put on its inaugural UFC event on June 22.

The last major UFC broadcast rights renewal, an extension with Polish terrestrial and satellite broadcaster Polsat, was made public in early March.

Under the multi-year renewal, Polsat will broadcast more than 40 live UFC events each year, including the main cards of all numbered events and Fight Nights, as well as prelims where a Polish athlete is competing.

Earlier this week, meanwhile, the promotion brought on board sleep aid firm Hostage Tape as a new commercial partner.

Hostage Tape has become the promotion’s official sleep aid partner, with global exclusivity in the mouth tape, nose strips, and sleep masks, categories.