HDNet Announces Multi-Year Deal with Kickboxing Promotion “It’s Showtime”

May 13, 2011

After months of speculation from kickboxing fans, HDNet announced today they have signed a multi-year deal with European Kickboxing promotion, “It’s Showtime”.

Today, HDNet announces a long term deal with “It’s Showtime,” Europe’s leading kickboxing promotion provided by Fighting Spirit, the international fight sport programming distributor. “It’s Showtime” will make its HDNet debut with “HDNet Fights: It’s Showtime Lyon” on Friday, May 20 at 11:00 p.m. ET – immediately following the network’s broadcast of “The Voice vs. Hulk Hogan.”

In the main event of the evening, Badr Hari makes his much anticipated return to the ring against Tony Gregory. Plus, Tyrone Spong and K-1 MAX Champion Giorgio Petrosyan will also be in action.

Founded in 1998, “It’s Showtime” is known for attracting the biggest names in kickboxing and drawing some of the largest crowds in combat sports – regularly packing over 20,000 fans inside the Amsterdam Arena.

In 2011, the promotion will present ten events for HDNet from venues across Europe including the recently announced, “It’s Showtime- Fast & Furious 70 Max” grand prix on September 24 in the Forest National in Brussels, Belgium. Elite 70kg fighters participating in this prestigious one night tournament include Giorgio Petrosyan, Andy Souwer, Artur Kyshenko, Gago Drago, Murat Direkçi, Chris Ngimbi, Harut Grigorian and Pajunsuk Superpro Samui.

Fighting Spirit is an international media rights agency based in France and is the only worldwide company that specializes in the management, brand development, and distribution of combat sport TV programs. Its portfolio includes a full range of combat sport programs from wrestling with CMLL Lucha Libre, to MMA with TKO Major League and Cage Rage, going through documentaries, Reality TV shows such as Enfusion, and live events of It’s Showtime – The World Championships of Kickboxing.

“I am excited to announce that ‘It’s Showtime’ is coming to HDNet,” said Andrew Simon, CEO of HDNet Fights. “The addition of ‘It’s Showtime’ solidifies HDNet’s position as THE PLACE to watch the best strikers and stand-up action in combat sports today.”

“It is a real privilege to collaborate with HDNet. ‘It’s Showtime’ is now the number one kickboxing promotion and one of the top brands in the universe of Fighting. With this program, HDNet shows its willingness to delight American martial arts fans with top fight shows,” said Simon Rutz, CEO of “It’s Showtime.”

 

Payout Perspective:

The It’s Showtime event will make it’s HDNet debut next week, with one of the most popular figures in the sport, Badr Hari, making his highly anticipated return in the main event as he takes on challenger Tony Gregory.

The deal is one that many combat sports and kickboxing fans have been clamoring and anticipating since the financial uncertainty of the #1 kickboxing promotion in the world from Japan, K-1, was reported.  HDNet still has a TV deal with K-1, and will continue to air more of their programming when it is available.

Dave Walsh over at LiverKick.com said the following regarding the deal:

Simon Rutz is no fool, as can be seen with the gradual growth of It’s Showtime over the past 12 years. It’s Showtime was not simply looking for a television deal for the United States, they were looking for promotional partners. Like we’ve seen with all of It’s Showtime’s recent events, they partner up with another company for all of their shows; BFN Group, Fight Group, Fighting Stars, Oktagon and even individuals like Yiannis Evgenikos and Kader Marouf. They wanted nothing different when it came to the United States and would not even think about promoting shows here without strong support from another promotion or entity, the same goes with television. They simply did not want to be on television, they wanted a working partnership that would expand the company.

 

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