FSN and MyNetworkTV have reached a strategic, three-tier television and new media programming alliance with the International Fight League (IFL). The joint announcement was made today by FSN President Bob Thompson, Twentieth Television President Bob Cook, and IFL CEO Gareb Shamus.
Under terms of the alliance, FSN has multi-year rights to televise 22 one-hour late night event programs, produced by the IFL, beginning in the second quarter of 2007. FSN also has the right to produce related ancillary programming, pay-per-view events and video-on-demand product.
The agreement also calls for FSN and the IFL to establish a joint venture to manage, maximize and distribute IFL-related digital media rights including online/Internet, broadband video and mobile, with the potential to leverage Fox’s powerful digital assets including Myspace, IGN, Fox Mobile Entertainment’s new global distribution partnerships and other potential third party digital platforms.
“Mixed martial arts, which has evolved tremendously in recent years, is one of the fastest growing sports in the world,” said FSN’s Thompson. “In addition to FSN committing a regular weekly window to the IFL to help establish the league, News Corp’s broad array of digital platforms positions us perfectly to unlock and maximize the tremendous value of the league’s new media potential.”
In addition to FSN’s weekly program and the digital media joint venture, MyNetworkTV is planning to broadcast 22 two-hour IFL-produced programs to begin in mid-2007. The IFL produced programs for MyNetworkTV will be an exciting combination of event action, highlights, features, vignettes and the league’s latest news.
“We are thrilled to be working with the IFL and we look forward to developing action-filled programming based on their events for our viewers,” said Cook. “The dynamic nature of IFL’s teamwork and competition also provides a colorful backdrop to go beyond the athletes’ lives outside of the ring.”
“This is a historic day for the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, and we want to thank everyone at FOX for seeing this great opportunity and making it a reality,” said Shamus, IFL co-founder and CEO. “This partnership will give MMA in general and the IFL in particular a chance to showcase the personalities, training regimen and great skill and discipline that these athletes and their coaches have to a much wider audience both in the United States and eventually around the world.”
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