BT is poised to add the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) mixed martial arts contest to its BT Sports channel, according to online speculation.
Expectations of a deal with BT are based on a report by mmajunkie.com which quotes UFC Managing Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa Garry Cookas saying a UK deal is “very close”
The UK telecoms and TV firm has been busy signing sports deals since acquiring the rights to 38 Barclays Premier League matches per season.
In addition to the Premier League games, the channel signed deals to show Rugby Premiership matches and games from a number of international football leagues including Italy’s Serie A, France’s La Ligue 1 and Major League Soccer in the US and the Brazilian Football Championship.
It has also signed a deal with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) to show up to 800 hours of live tennis, including the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships.
In February it further boosted its portfolio of rights with the purchase of Disney’s UK and Ireland ESPN business.
The expected deal with UFC is said to include a weekly magazine show exploring the sport in detail, as well coverage of fights.
As well as signing up major rights, BT has been signing on screen talent for its channels, which will broadcast from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Spurs and Wales player Gareth Bale recently signed up as BT Sport Ambassador and will also appear “regularly” as a guest.
The channel which has already announced Jake Humphrey, Lawrence Dallaglio and Clare Balding as presenters.
Humphrey will front coverage of the channel’s 38 Barclays Premier League matches per season while Dallaglio will serve as rugby union expert and Balding will present a “unique” sports themed chat show.