BSkyB are set to close the Bravo TV channel in the UK, which has been a strong supporter of mixed martial arts over the years as they look to reshuffle their portfolio of channels following the purchase of the Living TV group.
In MMA circles Bravo is perhaps best known as being the original home of both the UFC and The Ultimate Fighter in the UK back in 2004.
Though it eventually lost the rights to the promotion it continued to support mixed martial arts, and recently had acquired the rights to air Strikeforce events on tape-delay and has also aired events from up and coming British promotion BAMMA.
At this stage it’s unclear what will happen next to the MMA programs currently airing on the station. According to The Guardian Sky intend to distribute the station’s programming amongst their other portfolio of channels.
It’s reasonable to expect that the mixed martial arts programming won’t be lost in the shuffle, particularly since Sky recently confirmed their commitment to the sport by buying up the rights to The Ultimate Fighter which will now air on Sky Sports 2.
It will be interesting to see exactly whether they place it on one of their ‘free-to-air’ channels, or in a premium content channel which would force MMA fans to sign up for Sky in order to see future events from the promotions.