Amazon Prime to air UFC pay-per-views beginning with UFC 222

Amazon Prime announced Wednesday that it will begin carrying UFC pay-per-view events for its domestic audience, beginning with this weekend's UFC 222 in Las Vegas.

According to a news release, Amazon Prime membership is not required to purchase a UFC event. The cost per event is $64.99, the same as on other platforms.

The news comes as UFC is negotiating its next media rights deal. UFC's exclusive multiyear deal with Fox expires at the end of 2018.

Amazon entered the sports rights business in a big way in 2017, when it signed an exclusive digital deal with the NFL for Thursday Night Football games. According to the NFL, Amazon's Prime Video streams accounted for approximately 2.5 percent of overall viewership for those games in 2017.

Sports Business Daily reported that negotiations were led by Amazon head of sports Jim DeLorenzo, IMG Media senior vice president Hillary Mandel and UFC vice president and chief financial officer Andrew Schleimer.