Bellator remains committed to MTV2

August 18, 2011

Despite Thursday’s news of the UFC-Fox deal and its departure from Spike TV, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney indicated that he remains committed to MTV2. MMA Junkie reports that while Rebney admits the UFC deal has “shifted the landscape,” he is not clear if it has a direct impact on Bellator’s business.

Viacom owns Spike TV and MTV2 and while an interchannel move could occur, Bellator has not indicated a desire to do so. Yet, moving to Spike TV could benefit the company.

Via MMA Junkie:

It’s without question, though, that the promotion could get help from Spike TV, and vice versa. Spike TV is available in 96 million homes while MTV2 is available in 80 million homes. The success of the UFC has raised the cable channel’s profile, which has paved the way for greater advertising dollars. That’s not lost on parent companies such as the one that owns both channels.

Payout Perspective:

Moving to a bigger network, reaching more homes and going to a place with a history of showing MMA seems like an easy move to make for Bellator. It has made strides with tv ratings on MTV2 and while there could be an argument that it does not want to upset its momentum on MTV2 and does not want to be confused with the UFC, Bellator moving to Spike TV makes sense. A bigger audience with the targeted demo (Males 18-34) on Spike TV. Granted, Bellator would want to make sure it lands in a good time slot on Spike TV, but the move would be the best thing for the company.

If Bellator remains with MTV2, there are other options for Spike TV. There is ProElite which is streaming its first PPV online immediately after UFC 134. Also, there is Shark Fights, a Texas-based organization that has a tv deal with FUEL TV until the end of the year.

Fuel TV Expands Television Deal With Shark Fights

May 25, 2011

Fuel TV and Shark Fights announced today an expanded television agreement that adds six more events in 2011, starting with the Shark Fights 15 next month.

 

FUEL TV (www.fuel.tv), Fox Sports Media Group’s dynamic entertainment and sports network for young males, and Texas-based mixed martial arts promotion company Shark Fights announces an expanded television agreement that adds six upcoming Shark Fights events in 2011, starting with Shark Fights 15 next month. Each fight event airs as a two-part series, creating a total of 12 hours of original Shark Fights mixed martial arts programming for FUEL TV’s Friday Fight Night programming block.

Shark Fights 15 features marquee fighters including UFC veteran Chris Camozzi, Strikeforce veteran Joey Villasenor, and many more. FUEL TV airs the event in prime time on June 17 and June 24 at 10:00PM ET/PT. The remaining events and air dates are to be announced. As part of its original agreement with the promoter, FUEL TV aired Shark Fights 13 on consecutive Fridays in April.

“We’re excited to have Shark Fights as part of our regular line up of fight programming on FUEL TV’s Friday Fight Nights,” says George Greenberg, FUEL TV GM. “These are great matches with exciting fighters who are putting it all on the line every time they enter the ring.”

“Everyone at Shark Fights is thrilled that our FUEL TV network debut was so well received,” says Shark Fight Promotions Executive Wes Nolen. “Now, with the launch of FUEL TV’s Friday Fight Night, Shark Fights fans have a destination for our programming. We’re all thrilled to be part of the growth of MMA on FUEL TV, and it’s truly an honor to be aligned with the FOX Sports Media Group family.”

Shark Fights is produced for FUEL TV by Bud Brutsman and his team at BCII. Brutsman and BCII are responsible for producing all the early King of the Cage pay-per-view programs, as well as bringing the first Pride Fighting Championships programming to the U.S. on DVD.

“By combining the production quality that BCII will provide with the effort and focus that FUEL TV is putting into Friday Fight Night, we have no doubt that FUEL TV and the Fox Sports family will take Shark Fights to the next level and put it on par with the best MMA promotions in the country,” says Nolen.

FUEL TV’s Friday Fight Night features epic “must see” fights every Friday night at 10:00PM ET/PT. For more information on Shark Fight Promotions, please log on to www.sharkfights.com. For more information on FUEL TV, please visit www.fuel.tv.

 

Payout Perspective:

Back on April 1st, Shark Fights and Fuel TV announced a TV deal that landed the Texas based promotion on Fuel TV’s newly created programming block “Friday Fight Night” series.  Today, they announced an expanded deal that airs future Shark Fights events as a two-part series, starting with Shark Fights 15. If you recall, there have been some recent shake-ups with Shark Fights, as previous president and matchmaker, Brent Medley, stepped down nearly one month after signing the TV deal with Fuel TV.

According to MMAPayout sources, Strikeforce MMA veteran and BMX rider Erik Apple will be hosting the events on Fuel TV, who is a great choice for the network and the audience it targets.

Shark Fights and Fuel TV appear to be building on their relationship, and it will be interesting to see if Shark Fights can grow the coveted MMA demographic on the network and be able to build their fanbase on the network, a similar scenario Bellator went through this year with MTV 2.

The lineup for Shark Fights 15 televised event is as follows:

Main Event:
Chris Camozzi (14-4) vs. Joey Villasenor (27-8)

Co-Main Event:
Jeremy May (9-7) vs. Dave Branch (8-2)

Undercard:
Fredrico Lopez (4-3) vs. Bobby Huron (4-1)
Kyle Bracey (8-1) vs. Artenas Young (4-2)
Timothy Snyder (12-7) vs. Frank Gomez (9-3)
Eric McElroy (3-6) vs. Lionel Lanham (2-0)

Fuel TV’s “Friday Fight Night” Shark Fights Promo

April 5, 2011

The Texas-based promotion, Shark Fights, announced it had signed a deal with Fuel TV last week. It will be placed into Fuel’s one hour telecast of “Friday Fight Night” starting April 15th at 10 pm.

The press release from last week goes into a bit more detail regarding Fuel TV’s “Friday Fight Night”:

FUEL TV’s Friday Fight Night” features telecasts of several epic “must see” fight events, including Shark Fights 13. As part of the Shark Fight series, FUEL TV will air select bouts from the highly touted mixed martial arts event. The Shark Fights 13 roster is loaded with  top MMA contenders including British slugger Paul Daley, TUF contestant and UFC super star Keith Jardine, current Shark Fight lightFUEL TV heavyweight champion Trevor Prangley, hard hitting light heavyweight contenders Rameau Sokoudjou and Houston Alexander, UFC veteran Danillo Villefort, Strikeforce veteran Joey Villasenor, and more.

Here is the TV promo for Shark Fights:

 

Payout Perspective:

It was no secret that Fuel TV was looking to showcase MMA programming in 2011 based on the new direction the channel, which reaches 31 million homes, was heading. Fuel TV general manager C. J. Olivares told Sports Business Journal about the possibilities and new direction last year:

Fuel TV plans to add lifestyle programming and sports programming from motorsports and mixed martial arts to its lineup over the next month and a half. The moves are designed to expand the channel’s target demo from 12- to 24-year-old males to 12-35 and enlarge its audience.

Fuel TV was also involved in the rumored Bellator TV deal along with FX late last year, though the reports were proven to be premature at the time.  Along with Fuel TV, FX – another FOX affiliate interested in MMA programming – has also been in talks to bring in a sporting franchise to the network for years, rumored many times to be in talks with the UFC and even other big name MMA promotions such as Strikeforce.  The Strikeforce purchase by the UFC has taken away a big name MMA promotion for these networks, therefore giving other smaller promotions such as Shark Fights the opportunity to strike a deal.

Shark Fights signs deal with Fuel TV

April 1, 2011

Texas-based promotion, Shark Fights, announced today that it has signed a deal with Fuel TV. It will be placed into Fuel’s “Friday Fight Night” starting April 15th. It will be a one hour telecast starting 10pm.

Via Press Release:

Amarillo, TX. – April 1, 2011. Popular Texas-based mixed martial arts fight promotion company, Shark Fight Promotions, announced today that they have officially signed a deal with FUEL TV, Fox Sports Media Group’s dynamic entertainment and sports network for young males. The nationally recognized fight promotion will be part of “FUEL TV’s Friday Fight Night.” The exciting programming block takes place every Friday night at 10:00 PM ET/PT.

Shark Fights will show highlights from previous shows. The first offering on April 15th will replay Shark Fights 13 originally airing last September. The event featured Paul Daley and Keith Jardine.

(H/t:  MMA Mania)

Payout Perspective:

A good deal for Shark Fights as it gets some increased exposure. Although Fuel TV is not a widely known channel, the network was rumored to be an option in Bellator’s network tv deal. From a broader perspective, this is a sign that more television executives are looking to MMA as an option for sports programming.

Shark Fights Signs TV Deal With HDNet, Set To Debut With March 11 Event

February 25, 2011

MMAPayout has learned that budding promotion, Shark Fights, has signed a TV deal with HDNet and is set to debut on the network with their next scheduled event on March 11th, headlined by Matt Horwich vs Danillo Villefort.

Here is the rumored card for Shark Fights 14, set to debut on HDNet:

Shark Fights 14: Horwich vs Villefort
March 11, 2011
Fair Park City Coliseum in Lubbock, Texas

– Matt Horwich (26-17) vs. Danillo Villefort (12-3)
– Houston Alexander (11-6) vs. James Irvin (15-8)
– Mike Bronzoulis (11-2) vs. Todd Moore (13-4)
– Alex Cisne (5-1) vs. Eric Davila (18-10)
– Sean Shakour (3-0) vs. Joseph Sandoval (4-0)


Payout Perspective:

The budding promotion based out of Texas is coming off it’s PPV debut back in September of last year, where the event was headlined by Keith Jardine, as he took on MMA and Strikeforce veteran Trevor Prangley. The PPV event also featured Houston Alexander vs Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Danillo Villefort vs Joey Villasenor, and Paul Daley vs Jorge Masvidal (both signed by Strikeforce after the event).

Back in September, MMAPayout featured Shark Fights CEO Brent Medley, as he talked about PPV expectations, their strong fan-base in Texas, and their financing to put up a big PPV event so early in their development.  Shark Fights has taken their second big step in the last 12 months by signing a TV deal with HDNet, who has helped promotions like MFC, Titan Fighting Championship and XFC gain great exposure on the platform. You have to like what HDNet is doing as well, signing promotions with strong regional support who have signed marketable fighters to headline their events along with strong regional prospects.  The uncertainty in Japan has brought a halt of Japanese MMA stateside, but HDNet is doing a great job a mitigating the issue with the recent pickups.