SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 03: UFC President Dana White watches on during the UFC On FX welterweight bout between Martin Kampmann and Thiago Alves at Allphones Arena on March 3, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
It's no secret that the UFC loves Australia and vice-versa. They've held three events there since 2010, and have a fourth on the way at a to-be-determined date to coincide with the season finale of TUF: UK vs. Australia. Today Foxtel, Australia's premier pay-television company, announced an exclusive two-year deal to broadcast UFC content. UFC President Dana White was in Sydney to make the announcement:
"The UFC is the most exciting sports organisation in the world and Foxtel is the no.1 entertainment company in Australia, so this is a perfect match.
"Australia is pound-for-pound the No.1 UFC market for its size, and we are now going to give them more UFC content than ever before. With Foxtel, they won’t miss a single minute of the action".
Foxtel, a subsidiary of parent company News Corporation (who are also owners of FOX in the United States), has broadcast the last two Australian cards, UFC on FX 2 this past March on both FUEL TV and FOX Sports 3, and UFC 127 in February 2011 aired on Main Event, a special Pay-Per-View network. Some of their sports services include FUEL TV, three FOX Sports channels, SPEED, and Main Event. Newly-formed FX Australia, which is part of their entertainment subscription-package, will cover The Ultimate Fighter: UK vs. Australia - The Smashes.
Here is a brief breakdown of the UFC content each Foxtel channel will cover:
FUEL TV - Preliminary fights from all UFC shows ranging from PPV to FUEL TV (US), live FOX, FX, and FUEL main cards, live weigh-ins, UFC Unleashed, and Ultimate Insider.
FX Australia - The Ultimate Fighter: UK vs. Australia - The Smashes.
FOX Sports 1-3 - At least six live non-PPV UFC events per year.
Main Event - All live PPV events.
Essentially, the structure is very similar to the multi-platform FOX deal signed in the United States. One of the few differences is Foxtel customers subscribe to a sports package to receive virtually all sports channels, unlike most North American cable companies where channels like ESPN and Fox Sports Net are a part of most basic and digital cable services. All things considered, this is still a major deal for both Australian MMA fans and the UFC, as the latter continues to make major television deals around the world.