Martial Combat MMA: Singapore, May 2010

October 6, 2009

Asia’s ESPN Star Sports has announced a new partnership with World Resort Sentosa of Singapore to form a new mixed martial arts organization called Martial Combat, which is set to make its debut in May, 2010.

Here’s a snippet of their press release (followed by some Payout Perspective):

5 October 2009, Singapore: Asia’s top sports content provider, ESPN STAR Sports (ESS), today announced a 3-year exclusive partnership with Resorts World Sentosa to create, stage and broadcast a range of world-class sporting events in Singapore, kicking off with the launch of the inaugural MARTIAL COMBAT – Asia’s Ultimate Mixed Martial Arts Fight Championship in 2010.


The MARTIAL COMBAT will feature a grand total of twelve events comprising 60 action-packed fights per year, featuring some of the most popular and celebrated Asian fighters and many ranked fighters from around the world. It will receive an unprecedented amount of television coverage from ESS in excess of 60 hours, making it the largest MMA broadcast in Asia. The first leg of events, scheduled on 14-15 May 2010, promises to be a star-studded event showcasing non-stop action inside a ring, from some of the biggest fighters in the region and from around the world. This will be the first-ever MMA event till date to receive television coverage in 24 different countries in Asia, extensive online support through and mobile initiatives through mobileESPN. 

Payout Perspective:

Martial Combat debuts in May, 2010, but will look to follow-up the effort with an additional 11 events over the course of the three-year agreement between ESPN Star Sports and World Resort Sentosa.

I’m excited to hear a little bit more about Martial Combat, because the size and scope of this partnership is pretty impressive – especially on the distribution and venue side of things:

  • ESPN Star (ESS) is a 50-50 joint venture between Disney and News Corp. that owns 17 sports television networks across 24 countries, and caters to a market of approximately 310 million people across Asia. It uses networks like ESPN Asia, ESPN China, ESPN India, and Star Sports Asia to deliver international and regional programming to many diverse regions throughout the continent.  
  • World Resorts Sentosa also looks to be quite impressive. The $6 billion project is still under construction on the island of Sentosa in Singapore, and is set to be completed for early 2010. The resort will feature six hotel complexes, a casino, theme park, marine life park, and water park.

I’ve got to caution that we’ve all seen this scenario before. There are no guarantees for success in mixed martial arts – not even with a multi-billion dollar venue and access to over 300 million television viewers. Martial Combat will still need to create and produce high-quality and professional MMA events on a consistent basis.

Yet, I tend to believe the significance of the deal with ESS and World Resort Sentosa cannot be overlooked. ESS and World Resort Sentosa are major players, playing to win. Neither is likely willing to risk their reputation and capital on a poorly-run venture.

One Response to “Martial Combat MMA: Singapore, May 2010”

  1. cheapshot on October 7th, 2009 1:45 AM

    OMG!!! is this for real? hope to get more information about this.

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