Karate Combat Inks Deal to Air on ESPN Deportes in U.S.

By Jay Pettry Oct 22, 2020

The burgeoning karate promotion Karate Combat has found a new broadcast home in the United States.

Karate Combat, which has aired its second season on the promotion’s YouTube page this season, announced via press release that it has signed a deal with ESPN Deportes. Broadcasts on the channel will start immediately and on a weekly basis, with the first on Oct. 22. The broadcast will be in Spanish, marking the company’s first jaunt into U.S. Spanish-language television. The full-contact karate organization airs hourly episodes on its YouTube channel, with a virtual world rendered using the Unreal Engine from Epic Games.

CEO of Karate Combat, Rob Bryan, wrote, “We’re proud to present our full contact entertainment in Spanish in the U.S. for the first time with ESPN Deportes. We’ve brought one of the world’s most practiced sports to pro-level for the first time, and we’re making it incredibly entertaining.”

This season, several international fighters have emerged including Deivis Ferreira and Jesus Paucarcaja, with the two squaring off to headline the first show on ESPN Deportes. The karate league previously ran events on UFC Fight Pass, Fite.TV as well as its own website, among other outlets. It is currently shown in the U.S. and worldwide on beIN Sports, airing weekly on Thursday nights. The encore broadcasts show on Sunday nights, which is when the episodes are aired on its YouTube channel.

The second season of Karate Combat has involved a rotating commentary panel anchored by Bas Rutten. Play-by-play started with comedian Bryan Callen for the first three episodes before switching to Josh Palmer, and those three episodes also featured former NFL great Marshawn Lynch. The promotion has advertised that additional personalities including presenter Layla Anna-Lee and a “surprise guest from the series ‘Game of Thrones’” will join in on the discussion.
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