Bellator Fighting Championships overcame another rung in their patient ascent to prosperity. Announced Monday, the promotion has inked a deal entrusting FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) to exclusively represent and negotiate the brand's international TV distribution rights. In addition, FremantleMedia has been granted licensing, digital and ancillary rights for all United States and global markets.
"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 said in a press 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 US and internationally."
FremantleMedia is the brainchild of one of Europe's largest television and radio broadcast companies, the RTL Group. The corporation operates in 22 countries across the globe, and is credited with approximately 10,000 hours of programming a year over 300 individual titles, including Idols (co-produced with 19 Productions in the US), Got Talent (co-produced with Syco in the UK and the US), The X Factor (co-produced with Syco in the UK), Family Feud, and The Price is Right. Now they look to throw their hat into the mixed martial arts arena as Bellator continues to expand its reach.
"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."
Bellator is currently owned and operated by a majority interest from media conglomerate Viacom. When in-season, the promotion airs weekly on MTV2 and is available in roughly 80 million homes. Preliminary bouts stream live on Spike.com. A move to Spike TV -- available in approximately 100 million homes -- is anticipated in 2013 following the expiration of the UFC's library rights.