TVN, UFC in Deal to Offer UFC On Demand on Comcast

--Mixed Martial Arts VOD Service Now Reaches 25 Million Households in US, Canada

Video-on-demand distribution services provider, TVN Entertainment, and Zuffa, LLC-owned mixed martial arts promoter, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), said Monday that the UFC On Demand service is now available to all Comcast digital subscribers. According to the companies, the new carriage deal with the US's largest cable MSO will increase UFC On Demand's reach by over 17 million households, for a combined reach of 25 million households worldwide. "We are excited to be offering this unique package to our On Demand customers," Comcast's VP of video content, Diana Kerekes, said in a prepared statement. "We have seen how enthusiastic UFC fans are for the brand and are thrilled to be able to bring them UFC On Demand, which will further reinforce the value of our VOD platform and simultaneously drive awareness for upcoming UFC PPV fights. UFC On Demand offers a wide range of free and paid content with something for all of UFC fans to enjoy before and after a live UFC event."

TVN's and UFC's VOD carriage deal with Comcast sees the latter carrying the entire UFC On Demand package, which has three components: 1) UFC Free Zone, which offers short features on mixed martial arts rules, fighting styles and techniques, as well as event previews, full-length fighter profiles, and episodes of the show "Countdown UFC"--all free-of-charge; 2) UFC Fight Zone, which offers individual UFC library fights on a pay-per-view basis, each with a 24-hour viewing period, and which features fighters who will be competing in upcoming UFC pay-per-view events; and 3) UFC Event Zone, which offers full UFC events and specials, and which is also offered on a pay-per-view basis. The package is being dual-mapped by Comcast under a new category within its VOD service's "Sports & Fitness" and "Events & Specials" areas. In addition, in order to promote the upcoming pay-per-view event, "UFC 100" (July 11th), Comcast is placing UFC On Demand in its "Top Picks On Demand" folder. "UFC is leveraging the VOD platform in new, innovative ways and proving how video-on-demand not only supports customer retention and perceived value, but can also drive incremental affiliate revenue for UFC's live events, like next month's much anticipated 'UFC 100,'"Jim Riley, TVN's chief sales and strategy officer, said in a prepared statement. "Comcast continues to enhance its VOD offering, and with the incredible popularity of the UFC brand, Comcast is clearly demonstrating the important role that sports can play in the VOD ecosystem."

TVN and UFC, which formed their VOD partnership in March (see article published on itvt.com, April 13th), also recently signed distribution deals with Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications and Cogeco, bringing UFC On Demand to over 70% of the Canadian market. It is also carried by Verizon, Insight, WOW, Bresnan, Atlantic Broadband, Armstrong, Buckeye, Blue Ridge and Wave in the US, and the companies say that affiliate deals are in the works that will bring it to additional markets over the coming months.

Region: 
North America