GLORY, Spike sign multi-year broadcasting deal

Ed Spiller, GLORY

Spike is expanding its footprint in the combat sports business, as the cable channel has reached a multi-year agreement to broadcast GLORY kickboxing events.

The deal was announced on Thursday.

The first event is planned for October. According to a press release, Spike will broadcast live, two-hour Saturday night events in primetime.

GLORY has an existing deal with CBS Sports Network, and last week, CEO Andrew Whitaker told MMA Fighting that there would be more events to come on the channel, but teased a future TV deal.

A GLORY spokesman told MMA Fighting on Thursday that a September event will mark the final one on the CBS Sports Network contract, and that all following events would be shown on Spike.

"Spike has established itself as the home of combat sports in a way that is unique," Whitaker said in a statement. "Its audience will expect the most exciting ring action and we promise to deliver it. Glory kickboxing is the next big thing and Spike clearly knows something about spotting aces in the sports programming space."

This isn't Spike's first try at kickboxing. In 2012, they signed a deal with K-1, but after a few test runs broadcasting the promotion on their website to lackluster numbers along with major financial issues for K-1, that deal was scuttled. As K-1's ship continued sinking, GLORY stepped in to the void and scooped up many of the sport's top-ranked fighters.

Just last week, GLORY made its major U.S. debut with an event at Manhattan's Hammerstein Ballroom, drawing a crowd of 1,700 to see Tyrone Spong capture a $200,000 light-heavyweight tournament.

Whitaker told MMA Fighting last week that GLORY plans 12 events in 2014.

Spike is also the home of Bellator MMA.

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