SBD/August 13, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

UFC Eyes Global Growth, With Particular Focus On Africa, India

UFC is looking at staging live events and forming TV deals in South Africa
UFC co-Chair & CEO Lorenzo Fertitta projected the promotion's "annual international revenue from sources such as staging fights, media sales, sponsorships and merchandise will outstrip its domestic revenue by 2015," according to Alan Snel of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. UFC "currently generates about 40 percent of its annual revenue" of more than $500M outside the U.S. The promotion soon will "expand into a new frontier: sub-Saharan Africa, where UFC will make its fights and related content available through smartphone apps in 18 languages." UFC in the region is "strategically circumventing traditional TV broadcasters and working with mobile phone companies instead." One African nation "of particular interest to UFC is South Africa, where the company is looking into staging live events, cutting broadcast deals and distributing programming via cellphones." Fertitta said, "South Africa has a pretty good market for mixed martial arts." In India, UFC will "unveil its popular 'The Ultimate Fighter' reality TV show in Hindi." Other global initiatives "include live events in new markets such as Warsaw and Istanbul" in '14. UFC has "dedicated 20 percent of its 500-worker force to offices around the world," with "about 100 workers in London, Toronto and Beijing" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 8/11).
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