SBD/February 4, 2011/Media
NeuLion Signs Multiyear Deal With UFC Beginning With Saturday's Card
Published February 4, 2011
NeuLion Inc. has signed a multiyear agreement to power digital video initiatives for UFC, marking the latest sports property to align with the New York-based company. The pact, beginning with Saturday's UFC 126 event in Las Vegas, will involve the development, encoding and distribution of the MMA property's live and on-demand online content, particularly through the UFC.tv portal. NeuLion's efforts will begin with standard online video delivery to the personal computer, but soon expanded to numerous other connected devices, including set-top streaming boxes such as Roku and Boxee, smartphones and tablets. New features for the live online video include a round-by-round fan scoring feature, enhanced alternate camera angle views, and heightened social media integration. The alliance adds to league deals NeuLion holds with the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS, Big Ten Network, and nearly 200 individual colleges, among others. "We've become a go-to expert on live video with a lot of these leagues because we've been able to show how it improves their fan experiences and helps build their businesses," said NeuLion Exec VP and co-Founder Chris Wagner. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the UFC video will be a mix of PPV, subscription-based and free material. A preliminary fight from UFC 126 involving Demetrious Johnson and Norifumi Yamamoto will additionally be shown for free exclusively on Facebook, the second time in two weeks it has used the social networking platform as a live distribution platform. "This is a big step forward for us," said UFC VP/New Media & Technology Ed Muncey. "We see this partnership with NeuLion as a big move toward expanding our audience all around the world."