SPIKE TV has announced that it has signed a multiyear agreement with GLORY Sports International and will begin broadcasting the promotion’s events this fall. It’s the latest, significant move GLORY has made in recent months, and if there’s any doubt the kickboxing league is serious about becoming a mainstream player, there shouldn’t be now.
According to the official announcement, SPIKE will air live two hour GLORY cards on Saturday nights from around the world. No specific details as to when the first card will be broadcast, or how many per year the network is going to show were announced.
Jon Slusser, Senior Vice President, Sports and Multiplatform Programming, for Spike TV noted in the press release confirming the deal:
“We are thrilled to partner with GSI in bringing Spike TV’s audience the incredible action and intensity of GLORY’s fight league, which feature the best kickboxers in the world,” said Slusser. “Viewers will quickly see this as the perfect complement to our coverage of Bellator, the world’s leading tournament-based MMA promotion.”
Andrew Whitaker, Chief Executive GLORY Sports International, Pte Ltd. added:
“Spike has established itself as the home of combat sports in a way that is unique. Its audience will expect the most exciting ring action and we promise to deliver it,” said Whitaker. “Glory kickboxing is the next big thing and Spike clearly knows something about spotting aces in the sports programming space.”
So, there you have it. It’s certainly good news for hardcore fight fans, but it will be interesting to see how GLORY does ratings wise on SPIKE. The narrative kickboxing boosters spin , of course, is that lots of people don’t like the grappling and wrestling involved in MMA, and therefore, products like this are a great alternative.
One has to question, however, if SPIKE would have even considered airing GLORY cards if not for the rise of MMA in recent years. You hear far less boos now at a MMA event when the bout hits the mat than say five, ten years ago.