October 12, 2016
Combate Americas has hired former WWE star Alberto Del Rio, now known as Alberto “El Presidente” Rodriguez, as the new president of the Hispanic Mixed Martial Arts sports franchise.
Rodriguez was recently released from the WWE. In his new role, he will be “actively involved in all aspects of athlete relations and development, from recruitment to enhancing their showmanship skills,” per the Comate Americas press release.
Rodriguez has a background in MMA prior to his pro wrestling career. He also was a part of the Mexican National Greco-Roman wrestling team in the late ‘90s according to the press release.
Rodriguez will make his debut on Friday, October 14th.
The move is a way to elevate the promotion and maybe his notoriety can grab a few viewers as well as influence some young up and coming fighters to join the promotion.
April 20, 2016
UFC Fight Pass announced on Wednesday that it has signed an exclusive rights live-event and on-demand content deal with SHOOTO Japan. No financial terms were released although the press release from the UFC indicates it is a multi-year deal.
Via UFC press release:
SHOOTO Japan is widely considered the world’s oldest mixed martial arts organization. Founded in 1985 by retired Japanese pro-wrestling legend Satoru “Tiger Mask” Sayama, SHOOTO Japan promoted its first professional show in 1989. Since then, some of the biggest stars in MMA history have competed on its cards, including UFC® icons Anderson Silva, Dan Severn, Nick Diaz, Matt Hughes and Takanori Gomi.
“We’re excited to announce our deal with the historic SHOOTO Japan organization,” said Eric Winter, UFC Senior Vice-President and UFC FIGHT PASS General Manager. “SHOOTO Japan also joins sister promotion SHOOTO Brazil in our ever-expanding library. Featuring exclusive UFC cards and live events from some of the biggest combat sports promotions around the world, UFC FIGHT PASS represents unbeatable value for fight fans.”
SHOOTO Japan’s first event takes place late Friday night, April 22nd on Fight Pass.
It’s the third deal with a promotion in the last month: Cage Warriors in the UK, Combate Americas (which caters to a Hispanic audience) and now Shooto Japan. These deals which grant access to the promotion’s library and/or live events provide more content for the digital platform. As we know from Netflix, one of the things that keeps this type of business going is content to attract and retain subscribers. As we also know from Netflix, the question of expanding and retention is a constant question that the company must figure out. Unlike the Los Gatos company, there does not seem to be a concern about growing the product yet. With these new offerings, as well as the influx of attractive live UFC events, the digital platform should have sufficient content to appease MMA fans.
April 18, 2016
UFC Fight Pass has added Combate Americas to its stable of promotions that will offer live cards on its over the top digital platform.
Original UFC creator Campbell McLaren created Combate Americas and signed the multi-year deal with Fight Pass. The deal begins Monday with a show in Los Angeles.
According to MMA Fighting, it will be the first of a minimum of 8 events on Fight Pass this year.
Prior to its deal with Fight Pass, Combate Americas was seen on NBC Universo and was geared toward a Hispanic audience.
The acquisition is just the latest by UFC Fight Pass. Last week, it signed Cage Warriors to its list as the UK-based promotion live streamed its latest event this past Friday on Fight Pass.
Content is key in the digital landscape and the deals with Combate Americas and Cage Warriors is evidence that live streamed events are important for Fight Pass. The more there is on the network, the more opportunities to garner subscribers. Combate Americas probably is pleased with the deal as it likely expands its audience to more MMA fans.
September 17, 2015
Bellator MMA will return to ESPN Deportes per company announcement earlier this week. The agreement is a “multi-year, multi-platform agreement” which starts with Bellator’s next tent pole event this Saturday, “Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1”
ESPN will be streaming preliminary matches in Spanish starting at 7 p.m. on ESPN3 and ESPNDeportes+. As part of the deal, archival fights will also be made available to ESPN Deportes.
“ESPN Deportes has a long history of carrying premier sporting events, relevant to our Hispanic sports fans,” said Lino Garcia, general manager of ESPN Deportes. “We recognized the changes and growth of Bellator over the past year and, we are thrilled to see the world-class mixed martial arts organization return to its original television home.”
Bellator President Scott Coker: “We are thrilled to deepen our connection with our growing Hispanic audience with this strategic partnership with ESPN Deportes.”
It’s a return to ESPN Deportes for Bellator as the network previously aired Bellator fights. The deal is in line with expanding the MMA audience to the growing Hispanic demo. We recently highlighted Combate Americas and its deal with NBC Universo. For Bellator, it places it in front of a growing demo and allows it to solicit sponsors which relate to the Hispanic audience.
September 15, 2015
Combate Americas which debuts its live MMA fight series beginning this Thursday, September 18th announced that Yaveo, a Spanish-language over-the-top streaming entertainment service from DirecTV will be the title sponsor for the series on NBC Universo.
In addition to the news that Yaveo will be a title sponsor, the former WWE and Lucha Underground pro wrestler Alberto El Patron (aka Del Rio) will be a color commentator for Thursday’s event. El Patron, real name Jose Alberto Rodriguez, is a former MMA fighter with a 9-5 pro record.
Yaveo will air the prelim bouts on Thursday which will precede a two hour broadcast on NBC Universo. Addittionally, Yaveo will air shoulder programming which will feature young up and coming Latino MMA stars from the Combate Americas brand.
Replays of all the fights on NBC Universo will be available on Yaveo starting September 21st.
The announcement of the title sponsor facilitates the brand’s efforts to expose the product to its Latino demo. Branching out the product to the OTT service, Yaveo, allows for those that do not have the NBC Universo network on its satellite or cable package to view the series. Adding a well-known figure to call the action enhances the broadcast for the event. The event and promotion is targeted for a growing Hispanic audience.
August 26, 2015
Combate Americas announced a monthly live event promotion on Spanish language cable station NBC Universo (formerly mun2) according to a press release. Combate Americas, the first-ever U.S. Hispanic MMA sports franchise was founded by one of the UFC’s founders Campbell McLaren.
NBC Universo is the modern sports and entertainment cable channel for Latinos according to a press release announcing the live events. On Tuesday Combate Americas announced the kick-off of “Road to the Championship,” an MMA fight series that will air live on NBC Universo.
The Combate Americas reality show was the first fight-themed program ever to win a major television award – “Best Variety or Reality Series,” at last year’s 29th Annual Imagen Awards. The show was a hit with U.S. Hispanic viewers.
NBC Universo is available to approximately 39,326,000 pay television households which is almost 34% of those with TVs in the US.
Building on the success of its reality show, the MMA promotion seeks to attract the Hispanic millennials which are the fastest-growing U.S. demographic according to the press release. The show appears to be positioned for success as it is airing on a network geared toward the younger Hispanic demographic. You might recall Oscar De La Hoya announced his own network at the beginning of the year which would carry combat sports including boxing and MMA that would cater to young Hispanics as well. Although nothing has come out of De La Hoya’s network, he has brokered a deal in which RingTV.com (owned by De La Hoya) would stream live fights starting in September. His Golden Boy Promotions also worked a deal with Southern Californian-based Estrella TV to air fights after its deal with Fox Sports 1 ended.
July 17, 2014
Co-creator of the UFC Campbell McLaren will be featured in Friday’s edition of Forbes’ “SportsMoney.” He will be talking about his work with MMA promotions including the UFC and about his new promotion Combate Americas.
Mun2 is a division of NBCUniversal. It is a companion cable channel to Spanish language network Telemundo with young Latinos as its target demo. It is available to approximately 39,888,000 (almost 35% of households) pay television households in the United States as of August 2013 according to Television By the Numbers.
Forbes SportsMoney is on The YES Network and the episode will be on Friday night at 11:30pm ET/PT. Check your local listings. But, if you cannot find it, it also can be seen on Forbes.com.
It should be interesting to hear from McLaren and what is his vision for this organization. Combate Americas is another sign of the globalizationof mixed martial arts. We know that the UFC is making a big push in South America, Latin America and Mexico and McLaren’s organization is also doing the same.