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Eleven Sports may shutter streaming service in UK, Ireland

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Eleven Sports may shutter streaming service in UK, Ireland

Eleven Sports Network Ltd. may pull the plug on its streaming service in the U.K. and Ireland after only about four months in operation amid losses resulting from a lack of subscribers, London's The Guardian reported.

The sports broadcaster is said to be considering the move after the Ultimate Fighting Championship triggered an exit clause on an exclusive deal that was supposed to begin in January 2019. The deal required Eleven Sports to secure distribution of matches from the mixed martial arts competition on pay TV providers such as British Telecom, Sky PLC and Liberty Global PLC's Virgin Media, but the former failed to do so.

Eleven Sports is also reportedly in talks to revamp its existing deals with rights partners such as Spanish soccer league La Liga and sports management company IMG, in a bid to continue operating a much smaller business in Britain.

Since its U.K. debut in August, Eleven Sports has pulled in about 50,000 subscribers, The Daily Telegraph reported.

In May, Eleven Sports secured three-year rights to La Liga in the U.K. and Ireland after outbidding Sky. It also sealed a deal with IMG to broadcast games from Italian soccer league Serie A. IMG holds a minority stake in the U.K. channels launched by Eleven Sports that feature games from the two leagues.