IMG Media, a division of IMG Worldwide, the global sports, fashion and media company has signed a three year agreement to globally represent and distribute all media rights for the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) events put on by World Series of Fighting (WSOF).
Plans are in place to expand the number of WSOF events to 8-10 for 2014/15 and for the shows to be staged internationally in venues such as Vancouver, Brazil, the UK, and Eastern Europe. To date, all WSOF events have been hosted in the US – in Las Vegas, Ontario, and Atlantic City – with upcoming events to be hosted in Miami, Chicago and Houston.
NBC, who has shown the first five WSOF events live on NBC Sports Network in primetime, have a multi-year deal for exclusive coverage in the US.
Hillary Mandel, IMG Media’s SVP, Head of Media North America, said: “MMA continues to be a highly sought after and highly-rated sport with very attractive male demographics. Even though WSOF is less than a year old, it has been exceptionally well-received and has attracted top quality fighters, both experienced and up and coming.”
She added: “We see great potential for ‘blue chip’ fight programming and the value of distributing a series with high-level production values that has a strong foundation through its management, broadcast partners and investors.
WSOF President Ray Sefo, a kickboxing Hall of Famer and 6 time World Champion added, “We are proud and excited to be represented by IMG. WSOF will put on some of the best MMA events in the world with great fighters and great match-ups”
WSOF’s first event in November 2012 was held in its home base of Las Vegas at Caesars Entertainment’s Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, and WSOF has since visited such world-class destinations as New Jersey’s Revel Atlantic City, California’s Citizens Business Bank Arena and Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
WSOF’s growing roster of fighters features established superstars such as Andrei Arlovski, Josh Burkman, Jon Fitch and Anthony Johnson, as well as promising talent such as Nick Newell, Justin Gaethje, Marlon Moraes, Tyson Nam and Tyrone Spong, among others.