ONE Fighting Championship has announced a partnership with ESPN Star Sports which will see it broadcast in twenty-four Asian countries for the next ten years. The length of the deal is unprecedented in MMA history and is three years longer than the UFC’s recent agreement with FOX.
The news essentially means that ONE FC will be shown alongside major sporting events such as the English Premier League, FIFA World Club, Formula One, NBA and MLS which can only help the development of MMA in Asia.
ESPN Star Sports is Asia’s biggest sports content provider and Adam Zecha, Executive Vice President, Head of Sales (SEA), ESPN STAR Sports, said, “ESPN STAR Sports has always been at the forefront in offering innovative and engaging programming to sports fans across the region. We have successfully showcased a diverse range of combat sports events to fans, and with this long-term partnership with ONE Fighting Championship, mixed-martial arts sports fans can now look forward to more exciting action on our networks.”
ONE Fighting Championship plan to put on at least eight events in 2012 with shows in Jakarta, Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur already confirmed. CEO/Owner Victor Cui explained, “Asia has been the birthplace and home to martial arts for the last 5,000 years and ONE Fighting Championship has a vision of bringing mixed martial arts to the 3.9 billion people living in Asia. ESPN STAR Sports, Asia’s biggest provider of sports content, is a wonderful partner to help with that mission.”
ONE FC’s next event is scheduled for February 11 at the BritAma Arena in Jakarta. The main event sees Filipino Ole Laursen take on Felipe Enomoto from Japan while Bob Sapp and Rolles Gracie also go head to head in a super heavyweight clash.