Michael "The Voice" Schiavello (left) and Melvin Manhoef call the action at last weekend's It's Showtime Lyon event. Photo via www.itsshowtime.nl
Late last week, HDNet announced an exciting new partnership with It's Showtime. Now, we have some more details on these broadcasts, and it's all exciting news for fans of the stand-up game. First up, here are the details, courtesy of HDNet:
HDNet announces a long term deal with "It's Showtime," Europe's leading kickboxing promotion provided by Fighting Spirit, the international fight sport programming distributor... In 2011, the promotion will present ten events for HDNet from venues across Europe.
We spoke to HDNet Fights CEO Andrew Simon to get a bit more clarification, and he was able to offer us the following details:
- Their goal is to "cover all It's Showtime events for years to come," hopefully live at some point.
- Michael "The Voice" Schiavello will be providing commentary for the events. HDNet is still trying to decide who The Voice's partner will be, and Simon encourages fans to send him suggestions on who they want to see via twitter @andrewhdnet.
- This deal is not impacted in any way by the lack of K-1 programming at the moment. If K-1 begins producing shows again, they will remain a part of HDNet Fights as well.
Again, for anyone who is a fan of kickboxing and stand-up action (and has access to HDNet) this couldn't be better news. Since K-1's demise/hibernation, It's Showtime has become the top kickboxing organization in the world. They are routinely putting on strong events featuring top 25 fighters, and they are doing so in an ever expanding number of markets. Over the past year, I've spoken to It's Showtime CEO Simon Rutz about the prospect of him bringing a show to the United States - an idea he is open to if there is a suitable market here. The shows being broadcast on HDNet is a great step towards creating that market and increasing interest in kickboxing here in the US.
The first It's Showtime event on HDNet will air this Friday, May 20, at 11:00 p.m. It will be a broadcast of last weekend's event from Lyon, France, which featured Badr Hari, Tyrone Spong, Giorgio Petrosyan, and more. If you missed the show, it was a fun, action-packed event with a lot of good KO's. Add in commentary from The Voice and HDNet production values, and this is a must watch and a great way to intriduce yourself to It's Showtime. The company has 3 more events coming up in the next month, including a smaller show in Amsterdam this weekend - keep an eye on HDNet to see when those get added to the schedule.