The Wall Street Journal: ESPN lands exclusive pay-per-view streaming rights with UFC

ESPN is taking another big swing at mixed martial-arts.

Ultimate Fighting Championship has struck a seven-year agreement with ESPN for the rights to sell and stream its pay-per-view bouts exclusively on its ESPN+ streaming service, starting in April.

ESPN has broadcast a handful of pay-per-view bouts before, but this represents the first time that the sports network has inked a multi-fight pay-per-view deal. ESPN, a unit of Walt Disney Co. DIS, -1.60% , is looking to bulk up on programming for ESPN+ as part of Disney’s strategy to grow its direct-to-consumer streaming businesses.

ESPN said it would begin selling UFC pay-per-view events as part of a bundle that includes a subscription to ESPN+.

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