Monday, 15 April 2013
UFC likely heading to BT Sport in the UK
This was mentioned quiet a lot during the UFC Sweden event at the beginning of the month.
"UFC has agreed to a new three-year television deal with British Telecon (sic) Sports in the U.K., effective in August, and lasting until 2016. BT Sports will replace ESPN U.K. as the home of UFC. ESPN U.K. doesn't have a lot of penetration, being a pay channel, and aired almost all UFC programming live, which meant it started 2-4 a.m. That's great for servicing the super hardcore fans, who were able to get all the PPVs free with a subscription to the channel, and hardcore U.K. sports fans are used to staying up all night to see major events from other parts of the world. But you aren't going to get casual fans to do so. UFC was looking for a deal that would include airing programming in prime time, both taped matches and magazine shows. UFC officials were not talking about this deal, which at press time was not officially announced. Over the weekend, when Garry Cook, who handled a lot of the media in Sweden, was asked about the subject, he said he had nothing to say, just saying the deal hasn't been announced but a deal was on the verge of being announced. British Telecon Sports is a new channel being built on the back of a three-year contract with the English Premier League, the top soccer league in the country, which is the closest thing to their NFL. BT is getting 38 games per season, a lot of them high profile. Sky is still the place to be for sports and for whatever reason, they haven't made a deal with UFC. ESPN U.K. is about to become non-existent, selling their assets to BT."