While the country has long been on the organization’s radar, the UFC today announced a significant step toward a presence in Mexico, as well as other Latin American countries.
The deal with Televisa Networks includes an exclusive distribution agreement to air UFC programming in 20 Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America (excluding Brazil, which has a separate deal). Additionally, a new subscription channel that will exclusively feature UFC content will launch later this year.
Before the UFC-centric channel launches, Televisa has the rights to air UFC content. Fans can watch UFC programming on TDN in Mexico and Golden Channel in Latin America. It includes four live events annually on Televisa’s free-to-air Channel 5 in Mexico and other free-to-air networks in Latin America.
“The launch of the UFC Channel will be a game changer for our sport and its fans throughout Latin America,” UFC co-owner and co-founder Lorenzo Fertitta stated. “We are giving millions of fans across the region complete access to all our live events and programming for the first time.”
The new UFC Channel will include live fights, highlights shows (with UFC, PRIDE, Strikeforce and WEC fights) and specialty programming, including reality shows, all broadcast in Spanish.
According to the UFC, its programming is now available in 800 million homes in more than 145 countries and in 28 different languages.
To date the UFC has never hosted an event in Mexico, though company president Dana White has long mentioned it as a target for expansion. In fact, he’s suggested the organization could add a 115-pound strawweight division largely to attract Mexican fighters, many of whom showed up for a scouting session earlier this year.
White, who’s also expressed interest in having Mexican-American heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez headline an event in the country, hopes it can soon become a hotbed like Brazil.
“The way that Brazil caught on fire and took off – Mexico’s taking a lot longer than I thought it would, but it’s coming,” he said. “The culture in Mexico, they’re fighters. The greatest fighters in history come from Mexico, and there’s that whole famous Mexican style of fighting – and you see it some of the guys we have here now. It’s getting there slower than I thought it was going to, but when it all comes together, it’s going to be amazing.”
For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Cain Velasquez)