Legend, One FC Announce Television Deals with ESPN, ESPN Star

By Chris Nelson Jan 30, 2012
One week into the new Chinese calendar, two flourishing Asia-Pacific fight promotions have revealed separate television partnerships which could help them prosper in the Year of the Dragon.

Hong Kong-based Legend Fighting Championship on Monday announced an exclusive distribution and syndication agreement with ESPN International. Also on Monday, Singapore’s One Fighting Championship formally announced that it has entered into a 10-year deal with ESPN Star Sports, Asia’s largest sports broadcaster.

Legend’s agreement with ESPN International will see the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” distribute the 2-year-old organization’s content exclusively throughout Asia, Oceania, the Indian sub-continent, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Legend programming, such as the upcoming Legend 7 on Feb. 11, currently airs in 10 countries throughout the Asia-Pacific, as well as in North America via same-day tape delay pay-per-view. The promotion has also hit American cable airwaves with “Legend FC: Reloaded,” a highlights program which debuted last August on Fuel TV.

“Legend’s combination of a roster filled with elite fighters from the Asia-Pacific region with high-quality production values makes us excited to work with them to continue to develop their audience around the world,” ESPN International VP of Programming Mike Walter stated in a release.

Meanwhile, One FC’s long-term deal with ESPN Star -- an equal joint venture between ESPN and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. -- is being touted by the fight organization as “the largest MMA media deal in Asian history.” One FC CEO Victor Cui previously served as a senior director for the channel, which aired shows from his first promotion, Martial Combat, in 2010 and broadcast One FC’s inaugural event in September. Specifics of the deal were not mentioned in a release issued Monday.

“ESPN Star Sports has always been at the forefront in offering innovative and engaging programming to sports fans across the region,” stated Adam Zecha, ESPN Star Sports executive vice president and head of sales. “We have successfully showcased a diverse range of combat sports events to fans, and with this long-term partnership with One Fighting Championship, mixed martial arts sports fans can now look forward to more exciting action on our networks.”

One FC’s second event, “Battle of Heroes,” takes place Feb. 11 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

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