For the first time since March 2010, UFC events and programming will be available for viewing in Germany.
The Administrative Court in Munich recently declared that the broadcast ban imposed by the Bavarian State Media Authority (BLM) as “illegitimate,” according to a release.
In 2010, the BLM released a statement describing the content as a “breach of taboos like punching a downed opponent.” At the time, UFC programming such as “The Ultimate Fighter,” “UFC Unleashed” and “UFC Fight Night” had been free to air on the German sports channel DSF since March 2009. The UFC had reached an agreement with DSF in February 2009 to air approximately 500 hours of UFC material.
“The committee deems that television formats characterized by the extent of violence shown be unacceptable,” the BLM wrote.
Zuffa filed a lawsuit against the BLM in 2010 when the ban was implemented. The court officially ruled in favor of the UFC on Oct. 9, 2014. The BLM can still appeal the verdict.
“This verdict is a milestone for the UFC and for the many UFC fans in Germany,” UFC Chief Global Brand Officer Garry Cook said. “The court has confirmed that it was illegitimate to ban our broadcast programs. We always had confidence in the German market and felt a responsibility to grow the sport and satisfy demand -- this is why we fought against this ban. We will continue to work intensively to bring events, content and original programming to German viewers.”
The Las Vegas-based promotion returned to Germany on May 31 for UFC Fight Night “Munoz vs. Mousasi” at the O2 World in Berlin. It was the organization’s first visit to the European country since the Octagon touched down at the Konig Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen for UFC 122 on Nov. 13, 2010.