K-1 has announced a new deal that will bring the kickboxing organization into US homes. K-1 and Spike have signed an agreement for all K-1 shows to be shown in the US. For the remaining four K-1 shows in 2012, including their next show on September 8 in Los Angeles, the events will be broadcast via web stream at Spike.com. Starting in 2013, the shows will air on TV at Spike.
For the 2012 streaming shows, Spike is promising "live coverage of every fight on the card, including all the prelims." Exact details on the 2013 broadcasts are not yet announced.
For K-1, this is a huge deal. Right now, K-1 and Glory are both trying to position themselves as the world's #1 kickboxing organization. It's clear that K-1 has made the US a major priority in that goal, and with the 2012 Grand Prix set to take place in New York City, plus their shows now being available for US fans, they have the potential to really make their mark in the US. If they are right, and there is a market for kickboxing in the US, then K-1 is in a great position to tap into that market.
This deal means that in 2013, K-1 will be available live in nearly 100 million US homes, which is a massive number for kickboxing. The launch of K-1 on Spike will also coincide with Bellator coming to Spike in 2013, meaning Spike will once again be a destination channel for combat sports fans.
No matter how you look at it, this is great news for US fans of kickboxing, who have long had to endure watching events on choppy streams. 2012 has been an interesting year for kickboxing to say the least, and with this news, 2013 promises to keep that interest going.
Full details on the 2012 streaming events, including the 2012 K-1 schedule, in the complete article.
Spike.com's 2012 coverage will include unprecedented access to K-1 events, from live streaming of the weigh-ins the day before the bouts, to locker room interviews, to live coverage of every fight on the card, including all the prelims.
The four K-1 events in 2012 include:
September 8 - Los Angeles - U.S. Grand Prix Championship
October 14 - Tokyo, Japan - World Grand Prix Final
December 8 - Athens, Greece - MAX Final
December 26 - New York - World Grand Prix Final