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UFC and Sony Pictures Networks India Extend Exclusive Broadcasting Deal

LockerRoom Team
13 January 2024

In a significant move, UFC, the globally renowned mixed martial arts organization, and Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), one of India's leading media powerhouses, have announced an extension of their multi-year rights agreement. This ensures that SPNI will remain the exclusive media home for UFC in India and the Indian subcontinent until 2028, reflecting a continued commitment to bringing premier MMA content to Indian audiences.

Under the renewed partnership, SPNI will maintain its role as the broadcaster for 42 live UFC events, featuring 12 numbered pay-per-view events and 30 UFC Fight Night events. Additionally, the collaboration includes broadcasting original programs such as UFC Countdown, UFC Connected, a range of archive content, and the live fight series Dana White's Contender Series. This series showcases up-and-coming talent vying to secure a contract with UFC.

Commenting on the extension, Kevin Chang, UFC Senior Vice President and Head of Asia, expressed enthusiasm, saying, "We are delighted to continue our partnership with Sony Sports Network, which will remain the home for UFC in India. Sony has been a valuable and trusted partner, helping to expand the UFC brand in many ways, from their 'Ultimate Guide to UFC' show, to their media and social promotions. Together with Sony Sports Network, we're excited to usher in the next generation of Indian talent in UFC."

Rajesh Kaul, Chief Revenue Officer - Distribution & International Business and Head - Sports Business, Sony Pictures Networks India, highlighted the success and growth of the partnership, stating, "We are delighted to extend our partnership with UFC for five more years. Sony Sports Network is the go-to destination for MMA fans in the Indian subcontinent. Our partnership extension with UFC allows us to continue the exclusive coverage of live UFC events along with an expansive portfolio programming to engage our viewers."

The collaboration between UFC and SPNI, spanning almost a decade, has seen continuous evolution. Notably, in 2022, the addition of local language commentary in Tamil and Telugu marked a significant enhancement to the viewer experience. SPNI's role as the exclusive live broadcaster of TKO Group’s WWE, a partnership that has endured for nearly two decades, further solidifies its position as a hub for combat sports enthusiasts.

UFC programming is currently broadcast on SONY TEN 2 in English, SONY TEN 3 in Hindi, and SONY TEN 4 in Tamil and Telugu. Additionally, fans can access UFC content through SPNI's premium video-on-demand (VOD) service, SonyLIV.

As part of the extended agreement, SPNI will also broadcast the "win and advance" tournament, ROAD TO UFC, showcasing Asia's top MMA prospects. The tournament has seen the participation of four Indian athletes, with Season 1 winner Anshul Jubli earning a coveted UFC contract, marking a significant milestone for Indian representation in the global MMA arena.

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