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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Setanta Sports Announce UFC Deal

Courtesy of Setanta Sports:

-Setanta strikes with exclusive long-term deal for UFC super-cards
-All UFC events to be shown exclusively live on Setanta from July 2008
-UK events deal starts immediately with UFC 80: RAPID FIRE

LONDON, 17 January 2008: The Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC) organisation and Setanta Sports have announced a multi-year deal to make Setanta Sports 1 the exclusive home for all of the UFC’s big UK and US fights plus all other UFC programming, in Britain and Ireland.

The deal will see Setanta Sports broadcasting all the UFC UK fights in 2008 and 2009 and later in July 2008 all other cards will be available exclusively live on Setanta. As such, Setanta subscribers in 2008 will be able to see at least four UK live events and after July, all other US live events.

UFC fans should note that all the UFC supercards will NOT be available on a pay-per-view basis, but only to Setanta Sports subscribers at just £9.99 a month, reinforcing Setanta’s position as premium sports broadcasters offering superb value to sports fans.

The first of the four annual live UK super-shows is UFC 80: RAPID FIRE, which will be broadcast live from the Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle, exclusively on Setanta Sports 1 from 8pm on Saturday, 19th January, 2008. Other UK events are presently planned for March, June and September this year.

In addition, from tonight, Setanta will also be the home of the UFC’s newest TV series, WIRED, where UFC commentator Joe Rogan gives viewers his unique perspective on today’s elite mixed martial artists and famous fights and fighters throughout UFC history. WIRED airs every Thursday at 10pm, on Setanta Sports 1.

Marshall Zelaznik, UFC UK Division President, said: “We are delighted to continue and expand our relationship with Setanta Sports. In 2007, the UFC became a huge part of the sports landscape in the UK and we are very excited to be able to build on that in 2008 and beyond with Setanta Sports becoming the home of all our UK-based fight nights and all UFC programming.

“The UFC is a perfect fit amongst Setanta’s other great sports programming and UFC’s placement on such a sports network underlines our position as the leading producer of mixed martial arts programming in the world.”

Leonard Ryan, Setanta's joint Chief Executive, said: "Our exclusively live coverage of the UFC’s UK supercards is another significant step forward in Setanta's development as a major sports broadcaster. The UFC is the world’s leading professional mixed martial arts organization, which has made the sport of MMA the fastest growing sport in the world. Together with our live Premier League coverage, top class boxing cards and other sports programming, we believe that at ten pounds a month UFC fans will recognise Setanta as a must-have.”

Setanta Sports is available for £9.99 a month to satellite viewers, via a Freeview box or integrated digital TV with a viewing card slot and on BT Vision and Tiscali. Virgin Media XL pack subscribers can see Setanta for no additional charge, whilst M and L pack subscribers can add the Setanta Sports Pack for just £9.99 per month.

To subscribe, go to: setanta.com/ufc or call 08712 00 42 80, citing “UFC” as your reason for subscribing.

For further information, contact: James Matheson or Richard Tompkins at Braben on 020 566 2990 or email james@braben.co.uk / richardt@braben.co.uk

Ant Evans, Senior Communications Manager, UFC UK Division on 077952 98680 or aevans@ufc.com