The UFC still has to work out a long term deal with DirecTV but the promotion has reached an agreement with the pay-per-view distributor to air UFC 234: Whittaker vs. Gastelum.
Earlier in the day on Thursday, UFC officials announced that the upcoming card from Melbourne, Australia would not be available for purchase through DirecTV.
DirecTV — owned by AT&T — is one of the largest pay-per-view distributors in the United States, especially in bars and restaurants that typically air UFC cards every month.
Just hours later, UFC president Dana White announced that he struck a one fight deal with DirecTV so customers could still purchase the UFC 234 pay-per-view through that distributor.
We have a 1 fight deal for this weekend with @directv for Whittaker vs Gastelum and Adesanya vs Silva. So it will be on DirecTV and in bars and on every other platform. I will have this shit all worked out in the next couple weeks. Thank u pic.twitter.com/BkcDINaMdo
— Dana White (@danawhite) February 8, 2019
White also added that he expects to hammer out a long term deal with DirecTV in the coming weeks.
After coming to a five year agreement on a broadcast rights deal with ESPN last year, White touted his recent negotiations with pay-per-view providers that would shave the their percentage of the profits down to ‘closer to 30-percent’. That’s a drastic drop off from the typical 50-percent split shared between the promoters and the pay-per-view distributors.
There’s no word if that played a part in DirecTV being willing to drop the UFC from their programming line up but it appears the mixed martial arts promotion has managed to come to a short-term agreement while a longer deal is being worked on.
UFC 234 airs live from Australia this Saturday night with the pay-per-view broadcast starting at 10 p.m ET/7 p.m. PT.