UAE broadcaster Abu Dhabi Media has obtained exclusive Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) media rights in MENA, with the pay-TV network planning to release a localised OTT service and mobile app for regional UFC fans.
The first live event will air on Sunday with UFC 236: Holloway v Poirier 2 on Abu Dhabi Sports 4.
Under the deal, Abu Dhabi Media will have the exclusive multimedia rights to show all UFC content in the MENA region. This will include all live events, pre and post-event programming and all original UFC programming, a statement cited by state news agency WAM said.
Live UFC events will begin by being broadcasted by Abu Dhabi Sports 4 but Abu Dhabi Media also announced the launch of a localised over the top (OTT) service and mobile app in the region.
This platform will be a digital subscription service which offers customers online access to all live UFC events and a library with hundreds of hours of content that will be available in the Arabic language.
"UFC has a very passionate fan base across the UAE and the whole MENA region," said Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development and Chair of Abu Dhabi Media. "We are delighted to bring the UFC back to Abu Dhabi Media and we are excited to share their content with our viewers."
"The MENA region is extremely important to UFC, and we are thrilled to begin this partnership with Abu Dhabi Media to bring our fans new and localised content," added David Shaw, UFC senior vice president, international and content. "We are looking forward to working closely with Abu Dhabi Media on localized media initiatives for the region."
Abu Dhabi Media Group replaces the previous UFC broadcast rights holder in the region, Dubai pay-TV operator OSN.