London/Chicago, November 7, 2011 – FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME), the brand extension arm of FremantleMedia, today announced a global rights deal with Bellator Fighting Championships for FME to exclusively represent the rapidly growing brand’s international TV distribution rights, as well as handle the licensing, digital and ancillary rights for the US and international markets.
Since its launch in 2009, Bellator has rapidly gained momentum in the US and abroad, and is now the No. 2 promoter and producer of mixed martial arts worldwide. Currently in its fifth season, Bellator airs in over 80 million homes on MTV2, in high-definition in 30 million homes on EPIX and can be seen weekly on Spike.com.
Recognizing the growing popularity of the brand, Viacom, parent of MTV Networks, recently acquired a majority stake in the company. Additionally, Viacom has announced that Bellator will debut on Spike TV in early 2013, where it will be seen in over 100 million homes.
David Ellender, FME’s Global CEO, commented, "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. 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 US and internationally."
"The incredible athleticism and intensity exhibited in all of our mixed martial arts tournaments translate into any language," said Bjorn Rebney, Chairman, CEO and Founder of Bellator. "With FME as our partner, we will have the ability to showcase our high-intensity brand of fighting to millions around the globe."
Bellator Fighting Championships showcases a unique format of world-class fighting with 12-week, eight-man tournaments featuring some of the most dynamic fighters in the world. Bellator’s fifth season currently airs Saturday nights on MTV2 and simulcast in HD on EPIX2.
Its preliminary bouts are also streamed live worldwide on Spike.com.
Bellator’s events emanate from venues across the United States and Canada. The organisation’s stable of championship fighters includes lightweight world champion Eddie Alvarez, middleweight champion Hector Lombard, welterweight champion Ben Askren, bantamweight champion Zack Makovsky, heavyweight champion Cole Konrad and Women’s 115-pound champion Zoila Frausto.