After month’s of back and forth negotiations, the UFC has finally come to terms with Match TV out of Russia, the deal will begin with the UFC 209 broadcast this March.
The deal took a long time to reach because a few months ago, the UFC handed over their TV programming rights to a Russian mediator, who in turn, would jack up the asking price to potential suitors. Although the specifics of the deal weren’t announced, the last deal the UFC had with Match TV was for $500,000 annually.
Match TV CEO Tina Kandelaki issued the following statement about the new deal with the UFC:
"The negotiation process was difficult, and we are grateful to our partners for their mutual interest in staging UFC broadcasts in 2017. We are seeing increased attention for this tournament, not only in the media, but also among viewers. We are confident that all broadcasts will bring great pleasure and enhance sports viewership. We believe that the start of the season with the fight of Khabib Nurmagomedov will lead to even greater increase in the audience to the sport."
UFC 209 could be a historical event in Russian MMA history because countrymen Khabib Nurmagomedov will be fighting Tony Ferguson for the UFC Interim Lightweight Title.