While Spike’s curious decision to stick Bellator with a shitty Friday night might have pointed towards a decreased interest in continuing to push combat sports, here’s a move that shows things in a different light:
Spike is expanding its footprint in the combat sports business, as the cable channel has reached a multi-year agreement to broadcast GLORY kickboxing events. The deal was announced on Thursday. The first event is planned for October. According to a press release, Spike will broadcast live, two-hour Saturday night events in primetime.
GLORY has an existing deal with CBS Sports Network, and last week, CEO Andrew Whitaker told MMA Fighting that there would be more events to come on the channel, but teased a future TV deal. A GLORY spokesman told MMA Fighting on Thursday that a September event will mark the final one on the CBS Sports Network contract, and that all following events would be shown on Spike.
GLORY has been doing all the right things lately and it’s awesome to hear that they’re being rewarded with such an amazing platform to show off their sports. These deals with odd sideshow sports networks with shoddy distribution really don’t help the promotions – they don’t pay enough or expose the sport to enough people. Basically it just fills up programming space on some exec’s network schedule. This Spike thing on the other hand has the potential to put kickboxing back to the forefront of the combat sports world. And if there’s anyone with the smarts to take advantage of such a platform, it’s the GLORY guys.