The Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®), the world’s premier mixed martial arts organisation, has announced its first ever free-to-air broadcast agreement in Ireland.
UFC Fight Night Dublin: McGregor vs. Brandao, which will take place on 19th July at the O2 Arena in Dublin, will be broadcast on channel 3e in Ireland. 3e, part of the TV3 network, will broadcast the main card on a live basis from 8pm, together with features and enhanced editorial across the TV3 Group in the lead up to the event.
This is the first time a UFC event will be broadcast to a terrestrial audience in Ireland, marking a significant step forward for the organisation in this region.
TV3 reaches in the region of 3.5million individuals each month, equivalent to 85.1% of the available viewing population. It is the largest commercial TV channel in Ireland, and has a bigger market share for adults than BBC1, UTV, Channel 4 or Sky 1 combined.
Garry Cook, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of UFC Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said: “The popularity of the UFC in Ireland continues to grow at an enormous rate. With a number of talented Irish fighters on the card and the record breaking sell-out audience at the O2 arena, it was only right that we also offered access to this incredible event to audiences in Ireland via a free to air TV agreement. We are incredibly excited to make this announcement and we are confident that this is only the beginning of things to come for our sport in Ireland.”
Interest in the UFC is not only growing in Ireland, but it continues to soar elsewhere across Europe and in the Middle East. Already this year the UFC has delivered live events in London, Abu Dhabi and Berlin, with plans to host two further EMEA events after Fight Night Dublin, before the end of 2014.
The TV3 Group has an impressive track record in bringing major international sporting events in to homes across Ireland. The network has televised more than 150 live UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League games since 2009. TV3 have also secured the live broadcast rights in Ireland for all 48 matches for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
TV3 Group Head of Sport, Kieran Holden, said; “We are thrilled to be able to broadcast Conor McGregor’s homecoming bout for UFC’s Dublin event on 3e, on 19 July. Conor’s progress through the MMA ranks has been phenomenal and we are delighted that we are able to show this event to his growing fan base here live and for free on 3e.”