China’s Migu secures rights to UFC events in wide-ranging partnership agreement
Migu, a subsidiary of state-owned China Mobile Communications, has struck a wide-ranging partnership with mixed martial arts’ UFC to broadcast all events live and collaborate on projects to grow the promotion’s profile in the country.
UFC’s fan base in China has grown to more than 173.6 million and it has over 10 million followers on local social media platforms including Douyin, Weibo, Wechat and Bilibili.
Under the multi-year agreement, which starts with UFC 259: Blachowicz versus Adesanya on 6 March, Migu will become the official media platform for all UFC events and programming. It will offer all live UFC events and content through its UFC Fan Club annual subscription package via the Migu Video app or www.miguvideo.com.
The package also includes access to several archive fights from UFC’s library and will offer fans exclusive marketing and fan activations.
Migu will also offer each UFC pay-per-view as a single-purchase event.
Dana White, UFC president, said: “There has never been more talent, more fans, and more energy and momentum for UFC in China than rights now.
“This partnership with Migu is going to take UFC to the next level. I couldn’t be more excited to work with Migu and do amazing things to grow the sport and deliver incredible content to the best fans in all of sports.”
As part of the partnership, UFC will increase the number of events hosted in China, including its Dana White’s Contender Series Asia and UFC Fight Nights. These events will serve as a platform for Migu’s production technologies, including virtual reality and 4G.
The pair will collaborate on original content, including UFC-related films and documentaries, reality shows, and in-depth profiles on UFC stars and prospects.
The collaboration will also see UFC Performance Institute and Migu Fitness work together to create exclusive content for the Migu Fitness app that will focus on strength and conditioning, MMA training, recovery, injury prevention and nutrition.
UFC will also work with Migu to host nationwide fan activations, including UFC Fan Experiences featuring local UFC stars, viewing parties for major events and masterclasses at the UFC Performance Institute in Shanghai.
Liu Xin, Migu general manager, said: “Sports are an important way to improve people’s health, a means to satisfy people’s aspirations for a better life, promote people’s all-round development, and a significant driving force for economic and social development.
“Together with UFC, we will make full use of China Mobile’s 5G market leadership and Migu’s experience in the industry to bring exciting content in sports and health and promote the digital transformation and high-quality development of the sports industry.”
The partnership is the latest in a series of steps UFC has taken to increase its profile in the country, which has led it to become the fastest-growing sports property in the country.
In 2019, the promoter opened the Performance Institute in Shanghai, the world’s largest MMA training facility, as a hub to develop athletes from China and the greater Asia-Pacific region.
Last year, UFC was named the official high-performance advisor to the Chinese Olympic Committee, giving it a key role in helping Chinese athletes train for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games.