BT Sport, the UK pay-TV operator, has today (May 31) announced the renewal of its media rights deal for mixed martial arts’ Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Under the multi-year extension, BT Sport will remain the exclusive home of UFC in the UK and Ireland.
The deal features all live UFC events, including numbered events and Fight Nights, plus “hundreds of hours” of programming from original shows such as UFC Countdown and UFC Connected, and a library of classic combat sports events, including the biggest bouts in UFC history.
UFC has been on BT Sport screens since the broadcaster launched in the UK in August 2013.
Following a three-year absence, UFC returned to the UK earlier this year in March with an event at the O2 Arena.
UFC claims its Fight Night in London was the highest-grossing single sporting event in O2 history after generating gate revenue of $4.5 million.
The Endeavor-owned promotion will return to London with a second event on July 23 at the O2.
UFC has held 28 total events in the UK and Ireland since 2002, which it claims have all been sellouts.
The promotion features a growing stable of UK fighters including Tom Aspinall, Molly McCann, and Paddy Pimblett.
Dana White UFC President said: “We were blown away by the awesome response from the fans at our London event earlier this year.
“The fans from the UK and Ireland love this sport and they have always been great to us. And now, our roster of talent from these countries is the strongest it’s ever been. We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with BT Sport to keep promoting these athletes, building stars, and broadcasting the best combat sports events on the planet to these incredible fans.”
Rachel Knight, BT Sport sports rights director, added: “BT Sport is delighted to continue our successful partnership with UFC. We are entering a golden age for the sport in the UK and Ireland, with an incredibly exciting roster of local talent coming through.
“We look forward to working closely with these brilliant athletes and with UFC to continue to tell the stories and showcase the sport to our viewers in the years to come.”
BT Sport’s combat sports offering also includes boxing under a fight partnership with promoter Frank Warren and his Queensberry Promotions Ltd company.
The pay-TV broadcaster launched its BT Sport Box Office channel in 2018 offering pay-per-view events.