Confirming long-standing rumors, GLORY kickboxing events will no longer air on Spike TV. After a run of more than a dozen events dating back to 2013, Spike will no longer air the top kickboxing organization's shows. The network confirmed the news with MMA Fighting on Tuesday.
GLORY events first began airing on Spike in November of 2013 with GLORY 12 in Chicago, Illinois. The Viacom-owned station would eventually air thirteen GLORY-specific events as well as Bellator Dynamite 1 in September, which featured a number of GLORY kickboxing bouts.
The leading kickboxing organization also ran their Last Man Standing middleweight tournament during their tenure on Spike, but this event aired solely on pay-per-view. GLORY 17, however, was the lead-in programming for this event and aired live on Spike TV.
The most recent GLORY event to broadcast on Spike was GLORY 24 from Denver, Colorado, an event headlined by Joe Schilling, who also fights for Bellator MMA. That event aired on Friday, October 9th, beginning at 11pm ET and drew only 283,000 average viewers. While GLORY events have largely drawn praise from consumers and viewers, ratings for the programming underperformed during their run on the national network.
According to representatives with the network, the decision to no longer air GLORY is not sudden. Talks between GLORY and Spike were ongoing, but no agreement could be reached before the existing arrangement expired. In conjunction with PBC boxing and Bellator MMA, GLORY kickboxing has a component of the network's 'Friday Night Lights Out', a call to viewers to rely on Spike to provide combat sports action at a designated time on Friday evenings.
When contacted by MMA Fighting for comment, GLORY President Jon Franklin said the search for a U.S. broadcast partner continues.
"Spike was a solid platform to introduce GLORY and kickboxing as a whole in the US. We of course leave the door open to working with Spike again, but for right now, the fit isn't perfect.
"GLORY needs a partnership with a dedicated sports broadcaster, an established destination for the world's greatest athletic events. With more original content, shoulder programming, and a view to brand building for the organization and our athletes coming up, GLORY will be able to take its next step as a global sports property.
"We want to elevate the sport further and moving from a men's entertainment network to a dedicated sports network with broadcast affiliates will best serve this goal.
"Since we began, GLORY has delivered the most exciting stand-up fighting available and our fans worldwide will not miss that opportunity. Our next card, GLORY 25 Milan will air on US television, as will every card after that. We'll have an update on where to watch shortly. Stay tuned."
While its future on U.S. television is unknown at this time, the kickboxing organization has a number of international television distribution deals. They stage their next event, GLORY 25, on November 6th in Milan, Italy and will air those bouts on the organization's website.
Disclosure: The author worked as a sideline reporter for four GLORY events during their Spike TV tenure.