Spike TV is getting serious about picking up sports rights.
The network that targets young males moved veteran exec Jon Slusser to the newly created position of Senior VP/Sports & Multi-Platform Programming. In that role, Slusser will negotiate to pick up sports rights for the network. "Spike is ready and is making a significant investment to grow our sports programming," Slusser said. "This is our future."
Despite losing the UFC, which is headed to Fox, Spike still will focus on MMA, such as Bellator Fighting Championship, which is streaming preliminary bouts to Spike.com. Slusser plans to pursue non-traditional events that fall into four categories: fighting (MMA), motorsports (like Motocross and Rallycross), lifestyle sports (like rugby, beach volleyball, rodeo and extreme skiing) and event sports (like New Year's Eve specials and stunts).
Slusser will be based in L.A. and will report to Spike TV President Kevin Kay Previously, Slusser was Senior VP/Spike Digital Entertainment. He also spent time with the Clippers and Hornet, a sports production company he founded in '97. "Sports is a big initiative for Spike," Slusser said. "It's a big deal."
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