The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has formed a multi-year media rights partnership with CJ ENM, which becomes the new home for the sport in South Korea.

The American mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion has stated that it will offer ‘unprecedented exposure and access’ to fans.

UFC also explained that the agreement works in the aim of reaching a new generation across the country on multiple CJ ENM platforms, which include tvN, newly launched tvN SPORTS and OTT platform, TVING.

“This is a new era for UFC in South Korea, one of our most significant markets,” commented Kevin Chang, UFC Senior Vice President and Head of Asia-Pacific. 

“CJ ENM is one of the leading entertainment companies in the world with unrivalled influence and reach. Together we will connect with UFC fans in South Korea like never before.”

Beginning with the Charles Oliveira vs Justin Gaethje clash on 8 May, the partnership includes 42 live UFC events annually – 12 numbered events and 30 UFC fight nights – and additional programming such as UFC Countdown, UFC Connected and Road to UFC, to name a few.

CJ ENM has strengthened its sports offering with the launch of tvN SPORTS, which will feature UFC as ‘cornerstone programming’ that also includes FINA World Championships, AFC U-23 Asian Cup, AFC Champions League, Bundesliga, Major Tennis Tournaments, THE CJ CUP and Top Rank World Boxing.

Ki Sung Hong, Executive Vice President of CJ ENM, added: “We are confident that this partnership with UFC will create synergy between both companies. 

“CJ ENM will be able to expand our boundaries to now deliver sports entertainment especially with the launch of tvN SPORTS, while UFC will be able to utilise CJ ENM’s expansive coverage. 

“These global partnerships are a true indicator of CJ ENM’s expanding presence as a major global studio as we continue to strengthen our global competitiveness.”

In working towards further fan engagement with MMA, in recent months the UFC also formed a multi-year partnership with mobile games platform, Skillz, to ‘bring competition’ to players worldwide.

Announced at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, the licensing deal now enables Skillz’ developers to create UFC-branded competitive mobile games that are co-marketed by the pair.

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