The growing number of online streaming platforms has made it easier than ever to “cut the cord” altogether (that is, to ditch your cable or satellite television subscription in favor of online-only services), but due to antiquated broadcasting restrictions, sports has taken awhile to catch up to the crowd. Services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime are ubiquitous nowadays when it comes to movies and TV. Modern 4K TVs even come with Wi-Fi connectivity and streaming capabilities built right in, making things even simpler — but only recently have services like ESPN+, Fubo, Sling, and Hulu sought to do the same thing for live-action sports.
Although cord-cutting is a great way to save money and enjoy your favorite shows (particularly on premium channels like HBO), watching sports has been a bit trickier — until now. This is especially good news for MMA fans, as UFC’s cozy relationship with ESPN makes it easier than ever to stream UFC. The world’s biggest mixed martial arts fighting league has joined with ESPN to bring you all of your favorite UFC content in 2019, both online and on TV, including upcoming events like today’s UFC Fight Night featuring women’s strawweight bout between 15-3 Joanna Jedrzejczyk and 17-6 Michelle Waterson.
Fox held the broadcasting rights to UFC through 2018, but for 2019, the contract went to ESPN. This means that this year, all Ultimate Fighting Championship content, including Pay-Per-View events, will air exclusively on the sports network. If you already have ESPN with a cable subscription, then you can enjoy all the action right on your TV. This is also good news for cord-cutters, however, as ESPN rolled out its own online streaming service called ESPN+ last spring.
If you already have a streaming service you like and all you want is ESPN+ (which offers a mountain of sports content all on its own) for streaming UFC fights online, then you can simply. It’s a great value at just $5 per month or $50 per year. You can also use it with Amazon Fire, iOS, Android, and Chromecast devices, as well as your computer’s web browser.
Other streaming platforms
On the other hand, if you’re only now cutting the cord and are looking for a streaming TV package that comes bundled with ESPN channels — particularly the ones where you’ll be able to watch UFC – then you’ve got a few options. All of these premium streaming services work on Android, iOS, Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku devices, as well as modern computer web browsers unless otherwise noted:
- Hulu includes ESPN as part of its $45-per-month Live TV plan. You can also add premium channels like HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, and Starz, for an extra fee. Hulu can be used on your Xbox console, Samsung smart TV, and Vizio SmartCast TV as well as the devices listed above.
- Sling TV has two packages which include ESPN channels: The $25 per month Orange plan and the $40 per month Blue + Orange plan. Premium channels cost extra, although HBO and Cinemax are not available with Sling. Sling is now available on Roku devices and it can be used with LG and Samsung smart TVs as well as the Xbox One.
- YouTube TV, available for $40 per month with additional premium channel subscriptions on offer, comes with ESPN, although it also lacks HBO and Cinemax. You get unlimited DVR cloud storage, however. YouTube TV cannot be streamed on Fire devices (although that’s coming later this year), but it is available on the Xbox One.
- DirecTV Now has the widest selection of packages and premium channels, but it’s also more expensive than most other services. Plans range from $50 to $135 per month, and all tiers include ESPN (as well as HBO, which is a nice bonus you won’t have to pay for as an add-on). DirecTV Now works on all of the standard streaming devices as well as Samsung smart TVs.
- PlayStation Vue might not have the name recognition of Hulu or DirecTV, but it’s surprisingly good. Its four plans, ranging from $50 to $85 per month, all come bundled some ESPN channels to let you stream UFC to your heart’s content. Along with popular streaming devices, PlayStation Vue can also be used on PS3 and PS4 consoles, which is good for PlayStation owners as it’s one of the few live streaming services that Sony’s console supports.
When are UFC Fights in 2019?
In general, the UFC seasons start in January and finish up in the fall. The schedule is constantly shifting, however, so your best bet is to check the UFC event schedule fairly regularly to see when things are happening. Below is a quick overview of fights in the queue right now:
|October 12||8 p.m. ET||UFC Fight Night||Joanna vs. Waterson|
|October 18||9 p.m. ET||UFC Fight Night||Reyes vs. Weidman|
|October 26||8 a.m. ET||UFC Fight Night||Maia vs. Askren|
|November 2||10 p.m. ET||UFC 244||Masvidal vs. Diaz|
|November 9||2 p.m. ET||UFC Fight Night||Dos Santos vs. Volkov|
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