LOS ANGELES, October 5, 2009 - Shine International has signed a global distribution deal with Strikeforce, one of the world's leading mixed martial arts (MMA) promotions, to sell its entire library of television programming, including more than 70 hours of content, to international markets.
"Mixed martial arts is quickly becoming one of the most dynamic and popular sports in the world. The Strikeforce brand already represents the absolute best of this business domestically, and Shine International is thrilled to help them extend their brand internationally," said Chris Grant, President of Shine International. "Strikeforce attracts the world's best fighters and their events are superior to any others being offered to international broadcasters today. They are ideal partners for us."
"We are excited about the opportunity to bring Strikeforce fights to the homes of MMA fans throughout the world," said Strikeforce Founder and CEO Scott Coker. "Shine International is a world renowned leader in the international television business and, with their support, we are confident that we will be able to greatly expand the scope of the Strikeforce brand."
The Strikeforce library of programming includes 30 episodes of previously recorded fights that have aired on NBC and more than 56 hours of fights that have aired on Showtime. The deal between Strikeforce and Shine International also encompasses new, upcoming live fights through February 2012 as well as Strikeforce Challengers fights, pitting Strikeforce up-and-comers against each other.
Strikeforce recently announced its first broadcast on CBS to air live fights on the U.S. network, further increasing the leagues exposure, with the first event slated for November 7, 2009 at Chicago's Sears Centre Arena.
Strikeforce has experienced significant growth since it launched its MMA series with its "Shamrock vs. Gracie" event that played host to a capacity crowd of 18,265 at San Jose, California's HP Pavilion on March 10, 2006. After signing a landmark deal to air live events on Showtime earlier this year, Strikeforce earned the premium network its highest MMA rating ever on August 15, 2009 with "Carano vs. Cyborg."
Shortly before the live telecast, the main event principals-Gina Carano and Cris "Cyborg" Santos-were the most searched terms on Yahoo! and Google, while the fight was the most discussed subject on Twitter.