ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports, is the new home of the UFC(R) in the UK and Ireland, the Ultimate Fighting Championship(R) organisation and ESPN announced today.
ESPN will screen all UFC events live, starting with the explosive UFC 101: DECLARATION on Saturday August 8 and followed on August 22 by UFC 102: COUTURE v NOGUEIRA.
The most talked about new channel on British television will also screen UFC Fight Nights(TM) – beginning with the September 16 card headlined by Nate Diaz v Melvin Guillard – as well regular programming from the world’s premier combat sport.
UFC UK Division President Marshall Zelaznik said: “We are ecstatic to announce that ESPN is the new home of the UFC in the UK and Ireland. ESPN is one of the most trusted and respected brands in all of sports broadcasting, and we are thrilled to be working with them as they launch their new channel in the UK and Ireland.
“Over the last three years, the UFC has become as big a part of the sporting landscape in the British Isles as football and rugby, and for the worldwide leader in sports broadcasting came to us and we were able to reach an agreement so quickly is another testament that the UFC is an important part of the British sporting calendar.”
ESPN’s Jeroen Oerlemans, Vice President, TV Channels Europe, Middle East and Africa said: “We are delighted to combine one of the world’s fastest-growing sport with the most talked-about new channel, ESPN. UFC attracts millions of sports fans across the world and we know UK sports fans love this fast moving and compelling competition.”
ESPN launches August 3 on both the Sky and Virgin platforms in the UK and Ireland and, for the first month is FREE to all viewers, meaning everyone with Sky or Virgin can watch both UFC 101 and UFC 102 free of charge.
Sky Sports viewers can subscribe to ESPN for Â£9 per month, and viewers without Sky Sports can subscribe for Â£11. For more information contact your cable or satellite provider or visit www.sky.com/espn.
In addition to all live UFC events from around the world, ESPN will also screen UFC Unleashed every Thursday at 10pm, allowing fans to relive the greatest fights in UFC history.
Also UFC programming will be available in High Definition and simulcast on ESPN HD and there are further announcements to come.