If you were scratching your head in wonder as to why Asia-based promotion ONE Championship signed Sage Northcutt, Eddie Alvarez and Demetrious Johnson, well, wonder no more.
The promotion is going to be airing events on TNT in the United States.
Maybe you noticed, maybe you didn’t, but while we were all sucking on the UFC’s pay-per-view and FOX Sports teat, the broadcast industry was changing. Nowadays, it’s becoming more and more about digital streaming platforms, and the sports content they can offer. So by offering up some heretofore unseen MMA flavor to the domestic consumer, TNT has made their broadcast rights that much more valuable.
Anyway, here’s ESPN:
ONE Championship is coming to America.
The Asia-based promotion has signed a three-year broadcast deal with Turner Sports, sources told ESPN.
The deal, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, calls for 24 events to air live on B/R Live, Turner’s digital platform. The partnership is expected to be announced in the coming days.
In addition to the live events, Turner will air shoulder programming and taped events on TNT and there is also a reality show in the works, as well, according to sources.
The first event is scheduled for Jan. 19 in Jakarta, Indonesia.