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Russia’s VGTRK in an MMA deal

Russia’s state broadcaster and ABU member VGTRK has entered into a partnership with ten mixed martial arts (MMA) organisation UFC.

Under the new deal, all 2015 UFC events will be made available on VGTRK’s Russia 2, Sport 1, Fight Club and, reports Broadband TV News.

Commenting on the agreement, 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, added: “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.”

Other UFC exclusive rights holders in EMEA include BT Sport, Fight Channel, Setanta, Kombat Sport and C More.