UFC Expands Overseas After Media Deal With Discovery
Watching UFC fights just got a little more accessible for global fans.
The promotion signed a new international partnership with Discovery Inc. in Spain and the Netherlands. The multi-territory deal will pay the UFC a “significant increase” in what they were previously making, CFO Andrew Schleimer said.
Nine of the 12 current UFC champions are from outside the U.S. The promotion estimates about 90% of its 625 million global fans come from the outside the U.S.
Schleimer told Yahoo! Sports that there’s two reasons for the international push: first, MMA and UFC have grown insanely popular. Second, UFC has become fully integrated into Endeavor, the parent company of the promotion.
UFC was the first major U.S. sports league to resume after the Covid-19 pandemic halted nearly every major sport. In 2020, the UFC held 41 of its 42 scheduled events.
Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel boasted that the UFC opened 2021 with the best nine-month period thanks to the live events.
Endeavor went public last April, and the UFC’s growing success has helped increase business.