Disney, UFC Ink Deal To Stream Live Fights on ESPN+
Exclusive live content will be offered on television, social, digital platforms in English and Spanish
The UFC is moving to ESPN and ESPN+. The MMA promoter has signed a multi-year deal with The Walt Disney Company’s new Direct-To-Consumer & International segment and ESPN for exclusive live UFC content on ESPN+ and across a variety of ESPN’s television, social, and digital platforms, in English and Spanish. The deal, which will begin in January 2019, provides for 15 UFC events to stream live exclusively on the new ESPN+ DTC platform. Each event will be branded “UFC on ESPN+ Fight Night” and will deliver a full card of 12 bouts.
- Exclusive, all new seasons of Dana White’s Contender Series, beginning in June 2019
- A new original, all-access series produced by IMG Original Content
- Exclusive pre/postevent shows for all 15 UFC on ESPN+ Fight Nights
- Non-exclusive access to UFC’s full archive of programming, including historic events, classic bouts, and original programming
- Additional UFC-branded content, including UFC Countdown shows, press conferences, weigh-ins, and pre/postshows
In addition to the live events and content included in the ESPN+ subscription, fight fans will be able to purchase and watch UFC FIGHT PASS (UFC’s DTC streaming offering) and UFC PPV events via ESPN+ for a separate cost.
ESPN will also bring fans a variety of UFC content across ESPN’s widely consumed linear and digital platforms, including an exclusive, 30-minute special on ESPN’s linear networks previewing upcoming bouts and breaking down matchups leading up to each UFC PPV; hundreds of hours of UFC-library programming on linear networks; and re-airs of current UFC PPV events.
Said Kevin Mayer, chairman, direct to consumer and international, The Walt Disney Company, “One of our goals for ESPN+ 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. 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.”
Jimmy Pitaro, president/co-chairman, ESPN, Disney Media Networks, said, “UFC is a premier global sports property with legions of incredibly avid fans. We are excited to be able to bring their world-class events and content to ESPN+ and the ESPN networks. This agreement shows the commitment we have to delivering fans the very best across our entire platform.”
Said UFC President Dana White, “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 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. This deal is a home run for ESPN and UFC.”
Fans can subscribe to ESPN+ for $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year). The ESPN App and ESPN+ are available on mobile and TV-connected devices and on ESPN.com. The new ESPN App with ESPN+ is available on a variety of devices and platforms: Amazon (Fire TV, Fire Stick, Fire Smart TVs, Fire tablets), Android (Android phones, Android TV), Apple (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and supported in the Apple TV App), Chromecast, and Roku.