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he broadcast deal agreed between Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and BT Sport offers a significant commercial opportunity, it has been claimed.

Garry Cook, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director of UFC in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, told the Telegraph that the new three-year contract will help capitalise on UFC's growing popularity in the UK and Ireland.

Under the terms of the BT Sport deal, viewers will be able to enjoy live and taped UFC output, along with originally-produced content for the domestic fanbase.

"The keys to success for UFC, in broadcast terms, are to identify strategic partners who are committed to building the business together - beyond just airing non–European premium live content," Mr Cook stated.

"The UFC's elite performance athletes are the most committed and dedicated in the world of sport. This new relationship will help people gain a more in–depth understanding of the sport, the fighters and our brand."

He said UFC's new deal with BT Sport is about developing the UFC business, brand and sport as a whole.

"It's not just about airing the fights, but developing the narrative around this sport, which has great exponents," Mr Cook stated.

"They train harder, work harder, and are revered by the team sports. We will work together with BT Sport to portray those things. It's about making something exciting happen."

He said the BT Sport broadcast deal will challenge UFC - as a global brand - to become more local, with much of the emphasis placed on British talent and British stories.

"As we move forward, it will be about interactive media. There are gaming opportunities, fitness opportunities – and how we develop that consumption in the media world and with the rights holder will be the key to our success," Mr Cook noted.

He said UFC is "doing the same thing as BT Sport", because both brands are new and focused on establishing a presence in the market.

"It's going to be an exciting time," Mr Cook added.

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