UK News: Five agrees deal to show UFC highlights and TUF:Heavyweights!
Five has agreed a deal with the UFC to screen highlights of the mixed martial arts sport on UK terrestrial television, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Under the arrangement, the Five network will screen the best of UFC action from around the world on a delayed basis in an upcoming programme entitled UFC: Main Event. The hour-long show will feature the UFC's biggest fight cards, starting with UFC 102 on September 13 at midnight.
UFC UK division president Marshall Zelaznik described the deal as a "huge step for the UFC in the UK".
"We are delighted to partner up with Five, who are trailblazers in their approach to both sports and programming, and bring the best bouts and the world's greatest fighters to the largest possible audience," he said.
"We know we are going to create a whole new generation of UFC fans on Five. The UFC continues to smash records at the biggest arenas in the British Isles for our live events and form partnerships with the biggest names in British broadcasting."
Five's head of sport Robert Charles added: "We are well aware of the impact the UFC has made in the UK over the last few years and believe this is the perfect time for Five to climb inside the Octagon.
"In the UFC, the best fight the best on every single event and Five are proud to bring the very best UFC action to our viewers. Over the coming months, all the biggest names from the fastest growing sport in the world will be in action on Five."
Along with the main fight coverage, FIVE USA will also broadcast The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights series, in which 16 up-and-coming fighters from around the world live together but have to fight each other to win a contract with the UFC. The series will screen every Saturday night at 11pm, starting on September 19.
"The Ultimate Fighter is one of the most exciting reality TV series there is. Previous winners of TUF have gone on to become millionaire world champions in the mixed martial arts world," said Charles.
"We believe TUF's combination of reality TV and hard-hitting action make this one of the most compelling shows on television. There are other shows that categorise themselves as reality TV, but allowing the contestants to fight each other inside the Octagon truly is as real as it gets."