Sports Business : The Ultimate Fight Championships fights in Abu Dhabi turned out to be quite a success and buoyed by the response, pay-television broadcaster Abu Dhabi Media has launched a specialist fight sports channel. The channel will be called Abu Dhabi Fight and will be exclusively available via telco Etisalat.
The content on the channel will be shown in both English and Arabic, catering to both locals and expatriates. AD Fight will primarily be used to broadcast Ultimate Fighting Championship events, to which Abu Dhabi Media holds exclusive rights in the territory till the end of 2023.
Abu Dhabi Fight launched with Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Junior fight on Nov 29th
However, the channel launched on Sunday, November 29 with Mike Tyson v. Roy Jones Jr and will continue to focus to on celebrity events and celebrity-led content. In addition, Abu Dhabi Fight will show events from smaller MMA promotions such as UAE Warriors and Brave Combat Federations.
The channel will also broadcast the biennial Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships, the pinnacle of non-Olympic grappling sports. The event is considered the world’s most prestigious tournament for practitioners of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
The channel’s creation was prompted by a sharp increase in the number of UFC events held in Abu Dhabi. The UFC is contracted to stage one event per year in Abu Dhabi as part of its hosting and broadcast rights deal with the state.
However, Covid-19 restrictions in the United States have forced the UFC to find creative solutions and it has thus far held nine events in Abu Dhabi, with plans to continue holding events on Yas Island – rebranded as UFC Fight Island during periods in which events are held there.
Last year, Abu Dhabi Media launched a new OTT platform dedicated specifically to broadcasting UFC content.
Abu Dhabi Fight will be available for $8 per month via Etisalat’s eLife pay-television platform. The channel will have a three-month minimum subscription commitment.