Broadcaster Acquires Rights for Mixed Martial Arts Programming in Eight Territories
LOS ANGELES, April 23, 2010 – Shine International today announced it has sold Pan-Asian rights for STRIKEFORCE®, one of the world’s leading mixed martial arts (MMA) promotions, to Tiger Gate Entertainment. The Lionsgate and Saban Capital-owned broadcaster will launch the show via its KIX action channel across Asian territories, including, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and India. The deal also includes Pay Per View rights in HD. With MMA quickly becoming a global phenomenon, Shine International has now sold STRIKEFORCE’s library programming in 14 markets across Europe, Australia, Latin America and Asia.
“It was important for us to find the right partner in Asia to continue to build the STRIKEFORCE franchise, and we’ve found that in Tiger Gate, a like-minded company. We’re excited to see STRIKEFORCE enter another important market as the brand continues to grow globally,” said Chris Grant, President of Shine International.
“STRIKEFORCE is completely on-brand with our programming vision for KIX. The timing of the deal is also fortuitous, as the demand for this specific genre continues to escalate. Given the focus KIX will bring to the world of MMA, we anticipate the STRIKEFORCE brand exploding throughout the Asian territories,” adds Paul Presburger, Head of Business Affairs of Tiger Gate.
The STRIKEFORCE® library of programming includes 30 episodes and 56 hours of fights that have aired on NBC and Showtime, respectively. Internationally distributed content includes upcoming live fights through February 2012 as well as STRIKEFORCE Challengers fights, pitting STRIKEFORCE up-and-comers against each other. After signing a landmark deal to air live events on SHOWTIME earlier this year, STRIKEFORCE earned the premium network its highest MMA rating ever on August 15, 2009 with “Carano vs. Cyborg.”
About Shine International
Shine International is the sales and distribution arm of the Shine Group, a leading independent production and distribution company focused on exploiting worldwide intellectual property rights through scripted and alternative television formats. Shine International distributes programming from the growing library of programming of the Shine Group, including Reveille, Kudos, Dragonfly, Princess Productions and Metronome, along with a broad array of programming acquired from independent producers and U.S. networks, to more than 150 countries worldwide.
About Tiger Gate Entertainment
Tiger Gate Entertainment is a venture backed by Lionsgate, the leading independent producer and distributor of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment, video-on-demand and digitally delivered content. Lionsgate owns a prestigious library of 12,000 motion picture titles and television episodes. The Lionsgate brand name is synonymous with original, daring, high-quality entertainment in markets around the globe. Tiger Gate, headquartered in Hong Kong, is launching new pay-TV channels across Asia and beyond. The company produces and distributes original new feature films and TV series and also distributes Lionsgate’s content to all media in Asia.
STRIKEFORCE (www.strikeforce.com) is a world-class mixed martial arts cage fight promotion which, on Friday, March 10, 2006, made history with its “Shamrock vs. Gracie” event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California state history. The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion Frank Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at San Jose’s HP Pavilion, played host to a sold-out, record crowd of 18,265. Since 1995, STRIKEFORCE, sanctioned by ISKA, has been the exclusive provider of martial arts programming for ESPN and, after 12 years of success as a leading, world championship kickboxing promotion, the company unveiled its mixed martial arts (MMA) series with “Shamrock vs. Gracie.” In May 2008, West Coast Productions, the parent company of STRIKEFORCE, partnered with Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment (SVS&E), an entity created in 2000 to oversee all business operation aspects of the San Jose Sharks and HP Pavilion at San Jose.
About Saban Capital Group
Saban Capital Group is a leading private investment firm based in Los Angeles specializing in the media, entertainment and communications industries. Through its private equity activities, the firm makes both controlling and minority investments in public and private companies. The firm looks to drive growth, profitability and significant shareholder value of its investments through its solid track record and a unique blend of hands-on operating success with private equity investment expertise. SCG takes an active role in its portfolio companies in partnership with strong management.
SCG’s current private equity investments include Univision (the premier Spanish-language media company in the US) and Bezeq (Israel’s national telecommunications provider). The firm formed Saban Ventures in 2008 to make early-stage investments in digital media, mobile and consumer internet endeavors. In addition, SCG actively manages a globally diversified portfolio of investments across public equities, credit, alternative investments, and real property assets. The firm partners with best-of-class investment managers to develop long-term strategic relationships. SCG was established in 2001 by Haim Saban, founder of Fox Family Worldwide owned in partnership with The News Corporation until its sale to The Walt Disney Company in October 2001.