ESPN Deportes to Broadcast MMA in April

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grappler0000
11/3/08 9:24:32PM
Promotional newcomer Bellator Fighting Championships has secured a broadcast deal with ESPN Deportes to begin airing MMA events as early as April 2009, numerous sources have confirmed to Sherdog.com.

Santa Brito, Communications Manager for ESPN Deportes, confirmed on Monday that the Spanish-language channel is in “the early developmental stages of an MMA program.” Brito would not divulge further information, but clarified that ESPN was currently not developing any MMA programming on its English-language networks.

ESPN Deportes has more than four million subscribers out of the nine million recognized Hispanic cable homes, said Brito.

Sources have told Sherdog.com that the proposed 12-week fight series will center around four eight-man tournaments utilizing the 145-, 155-, 170- and 185-pound divisions. Non-tournament bouts will also be featured. It is not clear if the events will run live or on tape delay. Multiple locations across the nation are being considered for the 12-week shoot, sources have told Sherdog.com.

American Top Team’s Jorge Masvidal and Dream standout Eddie Alvarez have been two of the better-known candidates approached to participate on the Hispanic-focused roster.

Bellator -- which translates to “warrior” in Latin -- is helmed by Bjorn Rebney, former CEO and president of Sugar Ray Leonard Boxing. Rebney and Leonard aired live boxing events on ESPN 2 the first Friday of every month under the “Friday Night Fights” moniker from 2001-2004. The relationship reportedly soured when Leonard departed to join NBC’s “The Contender” series.

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Ordep
11/3/08 11:08:35PM

MMAmania has the story too.

Should be funny, every time I watch the UFC PPV with my friends in Puerto Rico we turn the SAP on on non important fights (examples: last time was Evensen-Kongo) just to They also broadcasted the 1st TUF season dubbed in one of our local channels (I was really impressed by the move since UFC was advertising it) making me hope they would comeback some day (nothing since UFC 8) but Puerto Rican politicians and stupid protest groups will make a chaos if those "death matches" are brought again, lame, I rather not have any live events there than show a stupid image from people without sport knowledge.
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