KNOCKOUT BLOW FOR ELEVEN SPORTS?

December 13, 2018

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Eleven Sports, the insurgent subscription video on demand (SVOD) service, is considering closing its operations in the UK and Ireland after failing to secure distribution via traditional TV operators. Failure to attract enough subscribers onto its platform since its launch has only increased doubts over the financial viability of the service.The service, which launched in August this year is considering shutting down its UK operation after the Endeavor (WME/IMG) owned, mixed martial arts faction UFC triggered an exit clause on its exclusive deal with Eleven (which Endeavor backed). The deal, agreed in September, with coverage due to start in January 2019, was dependent upon Eleven finding a carriage deal with any TV operator by the beginning of December, which Eleven failed to do. Operators wouldn’t play ball with Eleven and this loss of expected income has compounded the mounting losses. It is reported that the UFC has now entered emergency discussions to find a TV solution, with BT the likely landing spot, having been the home of UFC in the UK and Ireland for the past five years.

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