Internet set-top box maker and content aggregator Roku will start live streaming pay-per-view matches from the Ultimate Fighting Championship, its latest over-the-top offering that puts more pressure on pay-TV service operators looking for their own Internet portal. Roku now has nearly 30 channels of movies, sports and other general content currently available. The multi-year deal kicks off with UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans taking place Saturday, May 29 live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Roku users also will have access to the UFC Vault--an archive of past fights--as well as live access to UFC pre-fight events including the official weigh-ins, and pre-and-post fight press conferences. Roku users should have access to the channel in the Roku Channel Store by Monday afternoon.
"We are always looking at the latest technology and the newest ways to bring the UFC experience to our fans," said Dana White, UFC President. "Roku is another way for fans to get more UFC and watch all of the UFC events live and in HD, starting with UFC 114 on Saturday, May 29th."
Roku, which has some 500,000 users, sells STBs that range from $79.99, for a basic version, to $129.99 for a wireless box. It offers a mix of premium content though a variety of channels available via its interface without having to subscribe to a pay-TV service.
Launched in 2008 as a spin off from Netflix, Roku recently announced a new Netflix interface that more closely resembles what is seen by users on their computers, complete with full-text search and the ability to queue movie or TV selections. That should be available in June.
Roku boasts a library of instant entertainment includes over 50,000 movies and TV shows, live sporting events, music, and more.
Based in Saratoga, Calif., the privately held company in January discussed the possibility of selling shares to the public.
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