Eleven Sports UK crisis continues as UFC pull the plug on the deal and move exclusively to BT Sport
ELEVEN SPORTS’ crisis deepens as they have lost the rights to broadcast UFC in the UK and Ireland – with BT Sport becoming an exclusive broadcaster.
The MMA promotion company pulled the plug on the deal with Eleven after the streaming platform failed to show content via popular British TV providers.
UFC 229, featuring the blockbuster fight between Khabib Nurmagimedov and Conor McGregor, is estimated to have attracted whopping 2.4million viewersAP:Associated Press
Eleven were supposed to stream all 42 UFC live events next year.
The Netfilx-styled platform had signed a three-year deal with UFC but failed to show their content via TV providers such as Sky and Virgin TV, prompting the martial arts promotion company to trigger a release clause.
BT Sport have quickly secured the rights on a ‘multi-year’ deal becoming an exclusive UFC broadcaster in the UK and Ireland in 2019 and beyond.
Their coverage will include over 100 hours of non-live programming a year, including documentaries on British fighters – Conor McGregor and Darren Till.
Having entered the British markets four months ago, Eleven Sports have the rights to broadcast La Liga and Serie A in the UKAP:Associated Press
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BT Consumer’s Andy Haworth said: “We’ve worked hard to offer fans high-quality, fresh and innovative UFC coverage across all of our channels, and in particular on social media, which fans are responding really well to.
“This is great news for our viewers, who can continue to enjoy UFC with BT Sport.”
UFC’s popularity is booming worldwide resulting in rights deals believed to value at £240million per year in America.
Eleven, founded by the Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzanni, are now thought to be in serious financial troubles having failed to attract viewers to their online streaming platform.
Eleven Sport, founded by Leeds chairman Andrea Radrizzani, faces closure having failed to attract online viewers to their streaming platformsPA:Press Association
The company, who own the rights to La Liga and Serie A in the UK, are a big player on the Italian and Portuguese media market.
However, mounting losses in Britain force Eleven to renegotiate their deals at cheaper rates, according to Telegraph.
They might even consider ceasing operation, only months after entering the British market – putting the coverage of the European leagues in doubt.