ONE Fighting Championship today announced a '10-year media partnership,' which will see its events being broadcast by the biggest sports network in Asia, ESPN Star Sports.
Further information about the logistics of the deal are likely to be announced at a press conference tomorrow, where new signing Renato Sobral will be unveiled to the media and details about the card at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on March 31, 2012, will also be revealed.
ESPN Star Sports is available in 24 Asian countries and carries the rights to prestigious sporting events such as the NBA, English Premier League, World Cup, PGA Tour, Formula One, Major League Baseball and the Olympics. ONE Fighting Championship will become the first mixed martial arts (MMA) event to be broadcast by the network since Martial Combat in 2010.
The length of the agreement is, to the best of my knowledge, unprecedented in MMA history, overtaking the seven-year deal that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) recently signed with FOX Sports. It means that ONE FC has a broadcast home for the next decade which will put it in households all over Asia.
Here is the official press release:
ONE Fighting Championship™, Asia’s largest MMA organization, announces a 10-year media partnership with ESPN STAR Sports, Asia’s biggest sports content provider. This partnership marks the largest MMA media deal in Asian history and includes showcasing the best Asian mixed martial artists against one another through a series of events across all the major cities in Asia.
Victor Cui, CEO of ONE Fighting Championship, said, "Asia has been the birthplace and home to martial arts for the last 5,000 years and ONE Fighting Championship has a vision of bringing mixed martial arts to the 3.9 billion people living in Asia. ESPN STAR Sports, Asia’s biggest provider of sports content, is a wonderful partner to help with that mission."
Adam Zecha, Executive Vice President, Head of Sales (SEA), ESPN STAR Sports, said, "ESPN STAR Sports has always been at the forefront in offering innovative and engaging programming to sports fans across the region. We have successfully showcased a diverse range of combat sports events to fans, and with this long-term partnership with ONE Fighting Championship, mixed-martial arts sports fans can now look forward to more exciting action on our networks."
ONE Fighting Championship will be hosting events in Jakarta on February 11 and in Singapore again on March 31 featuring the best Asian mixed martial artists and world champions. The full calendar of events for the rest of 2012 will be announced in the near future.
About ONE Fighting Championship™
Headquartered in Singapore, ONE Fighting Championship™ (http://www.onefc.com) is Asia's largest mixed martial arts organization with the best Asian mixed martial artists and world champions. ONE Fighting Championship hosts the most prestigious mixed martial arts event in Asia with the largest media broadcast platform.
About ESPN STAR Sports
ESPN STAR Sports is a 50:50 joint venture between two of the world’s leading cable and satellite broadcasters. As Asia's definitive and complete sports broadcaster and content provider, ESPN STAR Sports combines the strengths and resources of its ultimate parent companies – Walt Disney (ESPN, Inc.) and News Corporation Limited (STAR) – to deliver a diverse array of international and regional sports to viewers via its encrypted pay and free-to-air services.
ESPN STAR Sports showcases an unparalleled variety of premier live sports from around the globe 24 hours a day to a cumulative reach of more than 350 million viewers in Asia. ESPN STAR Sports has 17 networks covering 24 countries, each localised to deliver differentiated world-class premier sports programming to Asian viewers. This includes ESPN SEA, ESPN China, ESPN Hong Kong, ESPN India, ESPN Malaysia, ESPN Philippines, ESPN SEA 2, ESPN Taiwan, MBC-ESPN (Korea), STAR Sports Asia, STAR Sports Hong Kong, STAR Sports India, STAR Sports Malaysia, STAR Sports SEA 2, STAR Sports Southeast Asia, STAR Sports Taiwan, and STAR Cricket.
On the ground, the ESPN STAR Sports Event Management Group manages and promotes premier sporting events around Asia. ESPN STAR Sports aims to reach consumers at any time, any place and through all new media platforms, both internet and mobile. The multi-lingual, online platforms, espnstar.com, espnstar.com.cn and espnstar.com.tw and footballcrazy.tv interact with millions of users providing them with in-depth sports news, results and competitions.
Developed for the sports fan that is constantly on the move, mobileESPN and STAR Sports Mobile delivers differentiated mobile content targeted at its various audiences. mobileESPN enables the serious sports fan to follow their favourite sports more closely than ever before with a combination of specially produced video news clips, in-depth news coverage and analysis.
STAR Sports Mobile aims to provide interactive and entertaining opportunities to engage with sports, delivering exclusive video excerpts from leading football clubs Arsenal and Liverpool as well as highlights from STAR Sports original programmes covering opinions, instructional tips and the latest online game reviews.