London, March 09, 2012 – FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) today announced a raft of international TV sales for Bellator Fighting Championships, the mixed martial arts brand for which FME exclusively represents the TV distribution and brand licensing rights.
Bellator Fighting Championships, the premier tournament-based mixed martial arts organization, showcases a unique format of world-class fighting and kicks off its sixth season this evening (9th March) with a 12-week eight man tournament featuring some of the most dynamic fighters in the world.
FME has sold the TV rights to the tournament to a number of broadcasters around the world, including Big RTL, for the Big RTL Thrill channel in India; Turner in Latin America, for syndication to over 48 countries across the region; Ananey Communications in Israel for its Ego Men’s Package; and TV2 in Norway.
David Ellender, FME’s Global CEO, commented, “FME partnered with Bellator at the end of last year as we could see there was an enormous appetite for mixed martial arts with audiences around the world. These new deals highlight just how popular the brand is becoming with fans outside of the US and we expect it to continue building momentum throughout 2012, both on and off screen.”
Bjorn Rebney, Bellator’s Chairman & CEO, said “Having partnered with Viacom in 2011, our focus was to align the Bellator brand with the industry leader in international TV distribution, brand licensing and strategic worldwide brand development. FremantleMedia Enterprises was the clear choice on that front and the substantive results they have generated to date speak directly to their pre-eminence in the arena.”
Bellator’s events emanate from venues across the United States and Canada. The organisation’s stable of championship fighters includes lightweight world champion Michael Chandler, former lightweight 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.
The deals were brokered by Justin Hatfield, SVP Sales – UK, Eire & Scandinavia, for FME with Linn Aronsen for TV2 Norway; Jamie Lynn, SVP International Distribution, Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa for FME with Mylan Tanzer, Ego Managing Partner at Ananey Communications; Sheila Aguirre, SVP Sales & Development – Latin America & Hispanic USA for FME with Turner; and Ganesh Rajaram, SVP International Distribution & Home Entertainment – Asia for FME with Big RTL.
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ABOUT FREMANTLEMEDIA ENTERPRISES & FREMANTLEMEDIA
FremantleMedia is one of the leading creators and producers of entertainment brands in the world. FremantleMedia is part of the RTL Group, Europe's largest television and radio broadcast company, which is in turn 90 percent owned by Bertelsmann AG, one of the world's major media and entertainment companies. FremantleMedia’s worldwide production arm is responsible for many of the world’s highest rated prime time entertainment, drama, serial drama and factual entertainment programmes. FremantleMedia Enterprises is the brand extension arm of FremantleMedia, offering a one-stop-shop for all Licensing, Distribution and Home Entertainment around the world. The FremantleMedia Group (which includes FremantleMedia North America, UFA, talkbackTHAMES, FremantleMedia Australia and Original Productions amongst others) has operations in 22 countries, one of the most comprehensive global networks, creating nearly 10,000 hours of programming a year, rolling out more than 60 formats and managing over 300 individual titles. FremantleMedia has some of the world’s most sought after and long running formats in its catalogue, and globally, produces such programmes as: Idols (co-produced with 19 Productions in the US), Hole In The Wall, Got Talent (co-produced with Syco in the UK and the US), The X Factor (co-produced with Syco in the UK), Take Me Out, Family Feud, The Price is Right, Farmer Wants A Wife, Gute Zeiten Schlechte Zeiten, and Neighbours.
About Bellator Fighting Championships
Bellator Fighting Championships is a Mixed Martial Arts promotional company headquartered in Chicago. Bellator’s Founder/CEO, Bjorn Rebney, is an experienced fighting sports and entertainment professional with a deep commitment to the purity and integrity of the sport of MMA and its athletes. Bellator Fighting Championships’ executive team is comprised of top industry professionals in the areas of live event production, television production, fighter relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations.