BELLATOR MMA LAUNCHES IN UK THIS SUMMER ON VIACOM-OWNED VIVA
Newport Beach, CA. (June 6, 2013) – Bellator MMA will now be available on television for the first time to the many passionate mixed martial arts fans in the UK, as it was announced today by Bjorn Rebney, Bellator CEO and Kevin Kay, Spike TV President. Viacom’s popular VIVA channel will begin airing live Bellator fights on Wednesday June 19 as part of the MMA league’s summer series tournament featuring a stacked card including King Mo, “Babalu” Sobral and War Machine. In September, VIVA will telecast Bellator MMA’s 9th season.
Bellator’s foray into the UK market increases their global reach to 116 countries and territories. Available in every one of the UK’s 26 million TV households, VIVA has one of the highest profiles amongst 16 to 34-year-olds of any UK channel, with 50% of its audience comprised of that hard-to-reach demographic and one in four of that age group in the UK – 3.7 million viewers – tuning in to the channel each month. Bellator is the first mixed martial arts franchise to be televised on the channel.
“We are thrilled to finally bring the pure excitement of Bellator MMA to the legions of dedicated and knowledgeable mixed martial arts fans in the UK,” remarked Rebney. “Our long awaited expansion into the UK, one of the world’s MMA hot beds further illustrates our continued ascension in the MMA world.
“This deal is game changer in the UK, giving Bellator the widest and deepest distribution of any MMA promotion in the marketplace,” said Kay.
Recently, Bellator MMA announced the signings of three of the UK’s top MMA fighters, Martin Stapleton, Rob Sinclair and Paul Sass. With the VIVA deal in place, Bellator will continue to aggressively pursue top British fighting talent.
Launched in October 2009, Viva combines a selection of content from Viacom’s leading branded networks in the UK – MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central – with a range of third party acquisitions, with highlights including Jackass, South Park and Anger Management. It is the only Viacom-owned channel available in all 26 million TV households in the UK. During 2012, Viva reached an average of 10 million individuals aged 4+ and 3.7 million 16-34s each month, equating to 25% of the total viewing population amongst 16-34s. The channel has the strongest 16-34 profile of any channel available on the UK’s biggest digital TV platform, Freeview, with 50% of its audience within that age bracket.
About Bellator MMA
Bellator MMA is the world’s largest tournament based Mixed Martial Arts organization. Televised to nearly 500 Million homes worldwide in over 107 countries, Bellator’s majority owner is entertainment giant Viacom. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on Spike TV, the MMA television leader. With over 150 world-class athletes under contract, Bellator is home to many of the sport’s top mixed martial artists. Bellator’s founder & CEO, Bjorn Rebney, is an experienced fighting sports and entertainment executive with a deep commitment to the purity and integrity of the sport of MMA and its athletes. Bellator’s core philosophy is that title shots should be earned, not given. This belief gave rise to Bellator’s real sport, tournament-based format, which gives Bellator’s tournaments a true playoff feel that keeps the sport true and distances itself from the subjective side of fighting sports found in organizations that utilize a matchmaking/casting formula. Bellator MMA is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations. Bellator is based in Newport Beach, California.
About Spike TV:
Spike TV is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks. A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike TV’s Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV’s press site at http://www.spike.com/press.