BT Sport lose UFC rights as Eleven Sports pick up UK coverage

UFC fans in Britain will now have to subscribe to online platform Eleven Sports to follow all the action, after BT Sport lost yet another bundle of TV rights.
In the same week that it was announced that Irish fighter Conor McGregor had signed a new six-fight deal with the UFC, Eleven confirmed it has secured an exclusive broadcast deal for the UK and Ireland.
BT had been home of mixed martial arts' premiere promotion for over five years, but in a sign of the shifting industry, the rights have now gone to an online subscription platform.
The three-year deal for live coverage will mean Eleven shows all 42 live UFC events in 2019.
Eleven will have the option of making some fights available on other broadcast platforms, meaning the fights could be shown on BT Sport and Sky in future.
However, discussions are still ongoing, so currently the only way to watch the action from January will be via the online subscription service, which costs £5.99 a month or £59.99 a year.
There are thought to be more than 280million UFC fans worldwide, and the sport's popularity in the UK has been demonstrated by two sell-out shows this year.
McGregor is due to become UFC's highest-ever earner in light of his new six-fight deal, which begins with his upcoming match-up with Khabib Nurmagomedov in Las Vegas on 6 October.
Eleven, a global platform founded by Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani, has risen to prominence this year, having won exclusive rights to the US PGA Championship, Serie A and La Liga in the UK and Ireland.
However, its coverage of the US PGA Championship was beset with problems, which included issues with the picture quality, sound problems and some viewers missing the moment that Brooks Koepka won.
UFC fans will be hoping for no such teething problems when Eleven takes over the reins in January.
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