Fri. Dec 9th, 2022

BT, the owners of the sports broadcasting service BT Sport which holds exclusive rights to air the UFC in the UK are in talks to sell the service.

In a report first published by the Daily Telegraph, the telecoms giant which also holds exclusive rights to the Champions League and WWE is said to be holding talks with several potential buyers including Disney, Amazon and online streaming giant Dazn.

BT confirmed the news this morning putting out the following statement

Further to media reports, BT can confirm that early discussions are being held with a number of select strategic partners, to explore ways to generate investment, strengthen our sports business, and help take it to the next stage in its growth.

BT however has stressed that whilst talks are ongoing they “may or may not lead to an outcome” – BT currently holds the exclusive right to air the UFC in the UK. This deal was made in late 2018 after the UFCs initial deal with Eleven Sports fell through after the broadcaster failed to launch a planned over the top channel with broadcasters.

BT has held UFC broadcast rights since its inception in 2013, if BT were to sell to Dazn which currently is exclusive to online streaming, then giving the UFCs position on Eleven Sports, it is highly likely the UFC will be looking for a new UK broadcast partner.

This is interesting as recently the BBC acquired the exclusive UK rights to Bellator, could ITV now decide to dip their toes in the worlds fasted growing sport? or will the UFC do a deal with BT’s biggest rival Sky Sports, who as recently as this week, has lost out on primetime boxing as Matchroom Sports have ended their tenure with Sky and moved to Dazn.

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