MMA promotion Combate Americas has long had a focus beyond the U.S., and they’re emphasizing that even more with a rebrand to Combate Global. And that rebrand comes alongside the news of a new U.S. TV deal with Univision. Combate Americas’ previous deal with Univision has worked out pretty well for them, with lots of good ratings results over the years (despite a usual midnight ET time slot, their events have averaged more than 400,000 viewers), and those sides announced Wednesday that they’ve signed a new five-year deal that will feature 30 live events per year on Univision, TUDN, the TUDN Radio Network, TUDN.TV and the TUDN app. Here’s more on that from a release:
“This powerful broadcast partnership will establish Combate Global as the premier MMA brand on TV in North America. Univision’s power and Combate Global’s excitement will inspire passion in a new generation of fans for this sport,” said Combate Global CEO Campbell McLaren.
“We are excited to extend our relationship and look forward to growing the Combate brand in new and innovative ways across our Univision platforms,” said Juan Carlos Rodriguez, president of Sports, Univision. “With our audience’s passion for thrilling, live action, Combate has teamed with our portfolio of soccer rights to deliver a powerful one-two punch. Combate is a fast-ascending property and we are committed to delivering more events from the premier Hispanic MMA franchise to fight fans than ever before.”
…As part of the agreement, some of the biggest North American soccer matches will serve as lead-in programming for Combate Global events. The new strategy will connect Univision’s fanáticos with the Combate Global brand and further position the MMA organization as a leading destination for Hispanic sports fans.
It’s interesting to see that latter note about soccer matches emphasized as lead-in programming. Live sports as lead-ins have been crucial to ratings success for a lot of properties, and Univision has done very well with their soccer coverage, both with the UEFA Champions League and with Liga MX and MLS. So this may wind up boosting the Combate Global audience even further. We’ll see how this deal works out for both sides.