With their contract with the UFC finally over, Spike TV is getting back into the combat sports business this year. Obviously the marquee name for them is Bellator, but last year, the network also announced that they would begin airing K-1 shows on Spike in 2013. After some lackluster audience numbers for 2012 K-1 shows on Spike.com, reports had begun to surface that the Spike/K-1 deal was dead. Bloody Elbow reached out to Spike, and received official confirmation from the network.
A Spike TV representative confirmed that the K-1 deal was officially not renewed for 2013, and the network will no longer be airing K-1 shows.
Bad news for kickboxing fans, right? Well, there may be a silver lining. While nothing is official, Spike did confirm that they are looking at other kickboxing promotions to air on the network, including K-1's biggest rival - Glory.
While K-1 may still have the casual fan name recognition, Glory is clearly the better run, superior brand at this point. It's unclear when we'll see the next K-1 show, or even if they will continue to operate at all. Meanwhile, Glory is already looking at a stacked 2013, including Tyrone Spong vs. Remy Bonjasky headlining Glory 5 London on March 13, and Daniel Ghita vs. Gokhan Saki at Glory 6 Istanbul on April 6. Both are superb fights that could really appeal to US audiences. Let's hope Spike and Glory reach a deal soon to bring these world class fights here to US television.