New Spike VP announces commitment to MMA

by John Ourand | source: sportsbusinessdaily.com
 

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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tags: UFC   Bellator   Spike   Jon Slusser   



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Recent Comments »

StratTone site profile image  

10/12/11 1:34 PM by StratTone

This is great news. I'd love to see guys like Saunders, Davis and anyone that was cut from the UFC still fighting on televised shows.

justininhifi site profile image  

10/12/11 11:27 AM by justininhifi

So they're serious after losing the biggest MMA organization?

DamnSevern site profile image  

10/12/11 11:06 AM by DamnSevern

 HBO should pick up it's showtime just for the lols

Steve4192 site profile image  

10/12/11 10:55 AM by Steve4192

That would be awesome.I would love to see kickboxing get another shot at cracking the American market.

funk samurai site profile image  

10/12/11 10:05 AM by funk samurai

Spike needs to pick up IT'S SHOWTIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mulletron5000 site profile image  

10/12/11 10:02 AM by Mulletron5000

Slamball was awesome!

Steve4192 site profile image  

10/12/11 9:46 AM by Steve4192

I wouldn't say that Bellator moving to Spike is just a formality. They have to survive until 2013 in order for that to happen. Given that Plainfield Asset Management is in the process of liquidating their assets to meet a June 2012 date for returning investor capital, I'm not so sure Bellator will be around in 2013.