The UFC are set to turn things up to Eleven in 2019.
The mixed martial arts giants have announced that Eleven Sports will be the new home of the UFC in the United Kingdom and Ireland, starting in January 2019, with the UFC being positioned front and centre in the channel’s offering, sharing top billing with their live La Liga and Serie A coverage.
The news was made official on Thursday morning following a joint press release by the two companies.
The broadcaster – a new face on the UK’s TV sports landscape – is a known entity to the UFC, having been the custodian of the UFC broadcast rights in Belgium and Luxembourg, and has established territories in England, North America, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, Poland, Singapore and Taiwan.
All 42 events scheduled for 2019 are included as part of the rights package, along with more than 150 hours of UFC original shoulder programming in a multi-year agreement. The release states that “UFC Fight Nights will be shown live on Eleven Sports, whilst Eleven will have the option to make some events available in partnership with other broadcast platforms.”
There will also be an on-demand service for subscribers, who will have access to UFC Fight Night shows broadcast on Eleven Sports, in full, following the conclusion of the events.
A joint press release from the UFC and Eleven sports stated: “The partnership with Eleven Sports provides UFC with a new broadcast home in the UK and Ireland, where it will receive centre-stage treatment and provide the passionate and dedicated fans incredible access to all the action from around the world.”
What’s on Eleven Sports?
Founded by current Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani, Eleven Sports launched in the UK earlier this summer with the announcement of their acquisitions of the exclusive live rights to Spain’s La Liga and Italy’s Serie A leagues for the next three seasons.
A deal to broadcast the PGA Championship soon followed, as well as a host of other football-based acquisitions, including the Dutch Eredivisie, the Swedish Allsvenskan and, starting in 2019, the Chinese Super League. More recently, the channel added the World Rallycross and G-Series Ice Racing championships to their rights stable.
Now it’s confirmed that the UFC will join those rights from the start of 2019, where it will share top billing with Eleven’s other top-tier rights from La Liga and Serie A.
How to get Eleven Sports
Eleven Sports is an online-based broadcaster that claims to have a “platform-agnostic” approach to distributing its content.
Their output is centrally distributed via their online streaming service at www.elevensports.uk, as well as mobile and tablet apps for iOS and Android users. You do not need to have a subscription to any major TV platform (such as Sky, BT or Virgin Media) to access the channels as everything is available directly via Eleven’s own website and apps.
Currently, there are no UK-based carrier deals in place with established linear TV providers such as Sky, BT or Virgin Media, though Eleven have said they are in discussion with major broadcast platforms, third-party streaming services and smart TV manufacturers to make their channels available through as many avenues as possible.
Eleven’s online platform is Chromecast-compatible, meaning fans watching via the streaming player can cast the live action direct to their television using a Google Chromecast device.
For fans, the experience of subscribing to and watching Eleven Sports will be similar to that of a Netflix customer, with the content based online and available to be streamed via website, apps and through your TV via a Chromecast.
How much does Eleven Sports cost?
The pricing structure for the channel is very straightforward: you can purchase either an annual pass or a monthly pass.
The annual pass offers the better value over the course of a full year, and is available for £59.99 (UK) and €69.99 (Ireland) while the monthly pass offers greater flexibility for those who want to dip in and out for specific events. The monthly pass is available for £5.99 a month (UK) and €6.99 per month (Ireland).
For more information about Eleven Sports, check out their FAQs here.
“We have worked very successfully with ELEVEN SPORTS in Belgium and Luxembourg and we are looking forward to extending our partnership here in the UK and Ireland.
“The UK and Ireland are amongst UFC’s strongest markets globally and with ELEVEN SPORTS making a significant impact here, it made perfect sense to partner with them to showcase our thrilling product to our loyal and passionate fans.”
David Shaw, UFC Senior Vice President, International and Content
“UFC has become a massive brand which has built a hugely dedicated and engaged following over 25 years, making it a perfect fit for our fan-centric strategy.
“We are a big supporter of combat sports across our global markets and the fresh and innovative approach that we have taken with our properties has been very successful. We are looking forward to creating the same added value for the legions of MMA fans in the UK and Ireland.”
Danny Menken, Group Managing Director, Eleven Sports
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