UFC agrees to TV deal in India
April 5, 2012
The UFC and Multi Screen Media announced a four year deal to broadcast UFC programming in India. Multi Screen Media is a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Television and its new sports channel, SIX, will air UFC events, taped special and fights from the UFC library.
Via UFC press release:
“When we went to India over a year ago I felt the market held enormous potential for the UFC,” said Lorenzo Fertitta, Chairman of UFC. “India has a long history of martial arts and traditional wrestling like Kushti. Indian athletes have also demonstrated worldclass levels in combat sports as evidenced by the country’s 2008 Olympic medalists in wrestling and boxing.”
“I’ve been saying for a few years that India would be next and it was just a matter of finding the right partner in the market. MSM has been a pioneer in India, broadcasting new sports franchises like the IPL. We’ve got big plans for India and MSM couldn’t be a better partner” said Dana White, President of the UFC.
This should be a good partnership for the UFC as it builds its product overseas. Recently, a Sports Business Journal full page ad indicated that international version of The Ultimate Fighter Live would have a stop in India (as well as Australia). A recent MMA startup league, Super Fight League, ran its first card this year and it looks like the sport is growing interest. Having UFC shows on a dedicated channel should help build into the MMA fan base in India.