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UFC signs ‘groundbreaking’ deal with TikTok

Leading MMA organisation UFC has announced a ‘groundbreaking’ multi-year partnership with short-form video app TikTok.

The deal will see UFC produce live content on what is claimed to be the world’s fastest-growing social media platform. This includes new weekly shows on TikTok that will be programmed around upcoming UFC live events.

The UFC has promised that it will collaborate with TikTok to distribute :hundreds of pieces of content annually” via its TikTok channels which collectively have more than seven million followers. UFC is TikTok’s third-most popular sports league.

This will extend to a full-time staff member who will be dedicated to producing original live and VOD content for TikTok. This employee, currently unnamed, is the first position of its kind created jointly by TikTok and a sports property.

Harish Sarma, director, global strategic partnerships, Americas and Oceania, TikTok, said: “We are thrilled to deepen our partnership with UFC and launch a robust slate of exclusive live content for the TikTok community. Now more than ever, sports fans are craving the up-close-and-personal moments they are missing by not attending live events. Through this partnership, we are excited to bring to TikTok the action and excitement of UFC both inside and outside the Octagon.” 

David Shaw, UFC SVP of International and Content, said: “This partnership with TikTok is a tremendous addition to UFC’s content distribution ecosystem. We want to be everywhere our fans are consuming content, and TikTok continues to break new ground in reaching a diverse, global audience.  This collaboration is a great way to drive awareness to our tent pole live events while delivering compelling content to our fans, 24/7.”

Elsewhere in the world of mixed martial arts, event promoter Bellator – widely considered to be the UFC’s closest rival – has signed a distribution deal with the BBC. The agreement will see Bellator MMA shown exclusively live in the UK on BBC iPlayer through 2021.