The UFC has agreed a significant new partnership with Russian broadcasters VGTRK, (The All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company), whereby all 2015 UFC events will be available across a combination of Russia 2, Sport 1, Fight Club and Sportbox.ru, beginning with the upcoming UFC FIGHT NIGHT GUSTAFSSON vs JOHNSON in Stockholm on Saturday January 24.
Featuring Russian fighters Konstantin Erokhin and Albert Tumenov, the main event will see Alexander Gustafsson fight Anthony Johnson for a chance to contend the Light Heavyweight title. Limited tickets are still available at www.axs.com/ufc
With 20 Russian fighters within the UFC and an actively engaged audience already in the country, the deal will build upon the increasing interest in UFC in that market and cements the substantial growth seen within the EMEA region in 2014 and adds yet another major market to the international broadcast reach of UFC.
David Allen, SVP and General Manager UFC EMEA, said: “Russia is firmly on our target list as a focal point of MMA within Europe with a fantastic fan-base and great UFC fighters. VGTRK have an impressive background in sport across all of their outlets and their experience and knowledge is evident, we are thrilled to partner with them and look forward to satisfying demand for the UFC and propelling the sport within Russia together.”
Alexander Taschin, Head of sports broadcasting of VGTRK, says: “Martial arts are traditionally very important for our company. We followed the success of the UFC and have noticed a growing interest of the audience in the country, which we expect is due partly to the 20 Russian fighters who participate in UFC championship. UFC offered high-quality content to us and the package of more than 40 events will be a perfect addition to the sports portfolio of VGTRK this year.”
The channel is the latest to join the exclusive group of UFC rights holders from Europe, Middle East and Africa, including BT Sport, Fight Channel, Setanta, Kombat Sport and C More, who will provide programming as demand for the world’s fastest growing sport intensifies.