The UFC is looking for alternatives in case it doesn’t reach a new deal with Brazilian pay-per-view network Combate by the end of 2022, multiple people with knowledge of the situation told MMA Fighting.
Owned by giant media conglomerate Globo, the second-largest commercial TV network in the world, Combate has aired UFC events for almost two decades in Brazil. Combate and the UFC signed a 10-year deal in 2012 and have been in discussions on a potential new agreement for over a year, but have yet to come to a number that pleases both sides.
With one quarter of the year almost in the books, the UFC is now studying the market to possibly bring a Fight Pass service to the country and stream all events on its own platform. Combate has recently lowered its price to R$ 39,90 (US$ 7,90) a month, giving its Brazilian subscribers access to every UFC event, plus cards from MMA promotions like LFA and Jungle Fight and other sports like boxing, karate, and jiu-jitsu.
It’s still up in the air how much the UFC would charge for the Fight Pass service in Brazil, but it’s expected to cost less than Combate is currently charging. The UFC is already looking in the market for possible color commentators for Fight Pass, MMA Fighting has learned, in case it doesn’t re-up with Combate.
Even though free-to-air TV Globo and its cable sports network SporTV haven’t aired live UFC events since 2018, they constantly promote upcoming UFC events and its fighters on their programming, potentially boosting the UFC brand and pay-per-view sales in the country. It remains to be seen if the UFC will seek another free network television to partner with for that intention, like during its short deal with RedeTV in the early 2010s.
Brazil currently has four UFC champions, with Amanda Nunes looking to reclaim a fifth belt to the country when she rematches Julianna Peña later this year. In the male divisions, Glover Teixeira, Charles Oliveira, and Deiveson Figueiredo sit atop their respective weight classes.