Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

ESPN agrees to streaming deal with UFC, will carry events on ESPN+

Stipe Miocic maintains top position against Francis Ngannou during a heavyweight championship mixed martial arts bout at UFC 220 Sunday Jan. 21 2018 in Boston. Beginning in 2019 ESPN+ will cary 15 exclusive live UFC events ESPN agrees to streaming deal with UFC, will carry events on ESPN+
| 09 May, 2018, 01:20

ESPN, the "worldwide leader" in sports, has reached a deal with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to bring Mixed Martial Arts to subscribers of the broadcaster's new streaming service, MMA Junkie is reporting. The offering, one of two planned over-the-top products now being developed within Disney, is ESPN's answer to the growing audience for streaming content and a declining base of subscribers to its linear television offerings.

ESPN has agreed to carry 10-15 UFC events exclusively on its direct-to-consumer ESPN+ platform, according to sources.

"I couldn't be more excited to partner with The Walt Disney Company and ESPN on an agreement that will continue to grow our sport", UFC President Dana White said.

ESPN+ is the first-ever multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company's Direct-to-Consumer and worldwide segment, in partnership with ESPN. We will now have the ability to deliver fights to our young fan base wherever they are and whenever they want it.


Regarding the deal, streaming 15 live events on ESPN+ isn't all-the company plans on putting that content on "a variety of ESPN's television, social and digital platforms" in English and Spanish, as well.

There was no announcement of any live UFC events airing on any of ESPN's linear networks. "UFC has always done deals with the right partners at the right time and this one is no exception", UFC president Dana White said. Fans can subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) and cancel at any time. While a new television deal wasn't announced on Tuesday, there was some major news dropped in regards to how you can stream some events beginning next year on one of the newest services out there.

ESPN+ costs $5 per month and features MLB, NHL and a variety of other sports league content-with the UFC soon to join.

The deal gives Disney's new Direct-to-Consumer and global segment mixed martial arts inventory popular with young audiences. Sports Business Daily puts the dollar figure on the UFC-ESPN deal at $150 million annually, and notes that FOX and NBC Sports are still in the running on the broadcast side.

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