UFC is coming to BBC Three

It's right we cover one of the fastest growing, and most talked-about sports in the world, which has millions of fans in the UK, all in a BBC Three way. Damian Kavanagh, Controller, BBC Three
Date: 22.02.2016     Last updated: 22.02.2016 at 09.40
Today (Monday 22 February) BBC Three announces partnership with the UFC to offer Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) coverage

The partnership will see BBC Three offer live commentary and post-fight video through The Daily Drop (1), BBC Three's live page (2), and through BBC Three’s social media accounts (3).

The partnership begins immediately as UFC fighters arrive in London for UFC Fight Night Silva vs. Bisping, which takes place at The O2 arena on Saturday 27 February. The event features nine British athletes, including the main event between Michael Bisping and Brazilian Anderson Silva, regarded as one of the best MMA athletes of all time.

Alongside BBC Three’s live and social media coverage BBC Three will produce short films and content on mixed martial arts - one of the world’s fastest growing sports - and UFC athletes including Conor McGregor, Holy Holm, Ronda Rousey and Michael Bisping.

Damian Kavanagh, Controller, BBC Three, says: “BBC Three has a history of covering emerging sports that appeal to young audiences in new ways, and our coverage of UFC will be no different.

"We already offer sport on The Daily Drop and it’s right we cover one of the fastest growing, and most talked-about sports in the world, which has millions of fans in the UK, all in a BBC Three way. The deal is mutually beneficial and demonstrates how BBC Three can experiment with new types of content, from new partners, in new ways.

"Last year we made a documentary featuring MMA and offered live coverage of League of Legends from Wembley with both well received by younger audiences, so in the spirit of innovation, we welcomed the chance to work with the UFC." (4), (5).

James Elliott, UFC EMEA General Manager and Vice President, says: “We are thrilled to be recognised as a valuable asset for BBC Three.

“Audiences across the UK & Ireland are becoming more and more knowledgeable about the skill, athleticism and ethics of MMA fighters and the great events and content produced by the UFC, which is driving fans to seek content from media outlets.

“BBC Three is a perfect fit for UFC and we look forward to an exciting year working together to bring great content to their audiences.”

In addition to the London event, on an ongoing basis, BBC Three will offer editorial coverage of UFC events within EMEA, with a possibility to cover international events.

Notes to Editors:

1.The Daily Drop is BBC Three's new platform that offers a daily stream of news and sport content, plus short films, blog posts, social media and third party links, all targeted at BBC Three's 16-34 target audience.

2.The BBC's live page format brings video, audio, text, stats and journalism together in one place. The format is used by BBC Sport for football coverage, BBC Music for Glastonbury and BBC One for Strictly Come Dancing. BBC Three used the live page format on BBC Three opening night for a watchalong with new comedy Cuckoo and director commentary new documentary Life And Death Row.

3. BBC Three content is available from @BBCThree on Twitter, /bbcthree on Facebook, youtube.com/bbcthree, @BBCThree on Instagram, bbcthree.tumblr.com and bbcthree on Snapchat.

4. BBC Three's Stoked Up In Stoke: Fighting Men followed two newcomers to MMA as they prepared for a contest. The film revealed how the sport is helping many young men overcome troubled circumstances such as alcoholism, violent crime, drugs, poverty, unemployment, domestic abuse and obesity, in order to turn their lives around.

5. In October 2015 BBC Three covered the League Of Legends Worlds live from Wembley Arena demonstrating how it can cover live events that appeal to young audiences in new, innovative ways.

About BBC Three

What’s happening at BBC Three

In February 2016 BBC Three became the first TV channel in the world to switch online. Offering original British comedy, contemporary British drama, distinctive British documentaries and provocative current affairs programmes all shows are available from The Best Of Three and BBC Three on iPlayer - on over 10’000 devices including Smart TVs, games consoles, apps, dongles and browsers - before being broadcast on BBC One or BBC Two.

New online exclusives for BBC Three

BBC Three now makes bespoke original British comedy, contemporary British drama and distinctive British documentaries and news and sport updates, for its daily stream of content The Daily Drop, and for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube.

About UFC®
UFC® is a global sports brand and the largest pay-per-view event provider in the world.