Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bellator to MTV2; What Next for Other Smaller Promotions?

Bellator Fighting Championships, formerly of ESPN Deportes, FoxSportsNet, the MSG channel (if you live in New York), and the Home Shopping Network, announced today that they’ll be airing live on MTV2 for the next three years. Hooray for wider viewership! Hooray for no more pre-empted events! And hopefully this union will be more fruitful than when the IFL signed with UPN and BodogFIGHT showed up on the Christian network ION (editor’s note: ha!). Anyway, the door is now open for other smaller promotions to make the leap onto television. In fact, MMA Journalist has been keeping track of who’s been in talks with whom, and I’ve compiled this handy list. Enjoy.

· Tachi Palace Fights to Nickelodeon – Sure, TPF has been providing quality regional action to those who trek to the casino in Lemoore, California, but the organization known for its focus on the smaller weight classes will now be moving to a network geared towards smaller viewers. That’s right, Nickelodeon will be airing TPF fights, and losers in all championship bouts will be doused with green slime. Gross!

· JEWELS and Valkyrie to Lifetime – Two all-female promotions to an all-female network. Really, this needs no more explanation.

· DREAM to LOGO – Struggling Japanese organization DREAM is considering a move to the channel whose regular programming includes “The ‘L’ Word” and anything with RuPaul. This isn’t a knock against DREAM, but desperation does breed strange bedfellows.

· Extreme Challenge and King of the Cage to VH1Classics – The place where old music goes to die is the perfect spot for long-running promotions Extreme Challenge and KOTC, which often feature castoffs such as Tim Sylvia and Ken Shamrock in performances sadder than any Bananarama and Poison video.

· M-1 Global to the Syfy Channel – The concept: Fedor Emelianenko will adhere to a contract he’s signed and regularly face legitimate opponents. Seriously, only a science fiction-themed television station could pull that off.