LAS VEGAS >> UFC and The Walt Disney Co. today announced an agreement for live fight coverage on its new subscription streaming service beginning in January.
The agreement calls for 15 live UFC events to stream exclusively on ESPN Plus. Each event will be called “UFC on ESPN Plus Fight Night” and will feature 12 bouts.
The deal gives Disney’s new Direct-to-Consumer and International segment mixed martial arts inventory popular with young audiences. Financial terms were not disclosed.
UFC has had a broadcast agreement with Fox that started in 2011 and expires at the end of this year. UFC spokesman Chris Bellitti said discussions are being held with Fox about having fights on its main network or FS1. Fox declined to comment.
“One of our goals for ESPN Plus is to bring sports fans of all genres content they love and are passionate about, and this agreement with UFC is illustrative of exactly that,” Direct-to-Consumer and International chairman Kevin Mayer said. “We look forward to providing UFC’s enthusiastic, growing fan base with a wide array of live events and building a lasting relationship with the industry leader in mixed martial arts.”
ESPN’s television channels will carry UFC content, including a 30-minute special previewing upcoming bouts and breaking down matchups leading up to each UFC pay-per-view fight cards, as well as UFC library programming and re-airs of UFC PPV events.
“I couldn’t be more excited to partner with The Walt Disney Co. and ESPN on an agreement that will continue to grow our sport,” UFC president Dana White said. “UFC has always done deals with the right partners at the right time and this one is no exception. We will now have the ability to deliver fights to our young fan base wherever they are and whenever they want it.”