Bellator broadcasts could reach an international audience soon.
| Photo: Dave Mandel
Bellator Fighting Championships could soon hit airwaves outside
North America, as the Chicago-based promotion’s international
television rights have been acquired by a London firm.
FremantleMedia announced Monday that its distribution arm,
FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME), has reached an agreement with
Bellator and majority stakeholder Viacom, Inc., to exclusively
negotiate the fight company’s international TV distribution rights.
In addition, FME will manage Bellator’s licensing, digital and
ancillary rights for the United States and international markets.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
A subsidiary of top European production company RTL Group, the
FremantleMedia Group manages more than 300 properties in 22
countries, totaling nearly 10,000 hours of programming per year.
FremantleMedia’s North American division is best known for
producing musical reality series such as “American Idol,”
“America’s Got Talent” and “The X Factor,” and the long-running CBS
game show “The Price Is Right.”
“This deal further diversifies FME’s third-party slate and builds
on our reputation as experts at identifying and exploiting the
potential of emerging brands,” FME Global CEO David Ellender stated
in a release. “The sport of mixed martial arts is gaining momentum
with fans worldwide, and we can see huge potential for the Bellator
brand across all platforms, both in the U.S. and
Since launching in April 2009, Bellator has staged 54 events in
nearly 20 different states and Canadian provinces, crowning eight
champions along the way. The company has also amassed a significant
roster of international prospects, many of whom now stand to gain
an audience in their home countries.
“The incredible athleticism and intensity exhibited in all of our
mixed martial arts tournaments translate into any language,” stated
Bellator CEO and founder Bjorn Rebney. “With FME as our partner, we
will have the ability to showcase our high-intensity brand of
fighting to millions around the globe.”
Viacom, parent company of current Bellator broadcast partner MTV2,
recently acquired an undisclosed majority stake in Bellator and
announced in late October that the promotion will debut on former
UFC home Spike TV in early 2013.