Combate Americas, the premier Hispanic Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) sports franchise, and TV Azteca, S.A.B. de C.V. (BMV: AZTECA; Latibex: XTZA), one of the two largest producers of Spanish-language television programming in the world, today announced an exclusive, year-long agreement to broadcast live world champion MMA events in the U.S. and Mexico.
In addition to monthly live events, the partnership, which marks the first time in history Azteca will carry MMA programming in Mexico, also includes a weekly series that will showcase the most exciting Combate Americas fights to date as well as highlight the league’s prolific, young fighters and celebrity personalities.
The live events and weekly series will be featured on both TV Azteca’s Channel 7 in Mexico and Azteca America in the U.S. Broadcast from Mexico City, the first live event under the new partnership is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 19.
“MMA has developed a worldwide audience and through Combate Americas, a passionate following among the fast-growing U.S. Hispanic, millennial audience, which is why we wanted this programming for both U.S. and Mexico,” said Rodrigo Fernández, Director of Azteca 7. “Campbell McLaren understands MMA better than anyone, which is why Azteca wants to be part of what we believe will be phenomenal growth for Combate Americas.”
“As we’ve seen with our soccer programming, live sports events drive Hispanic millennial viewing. That’s why the opportunity to deliver MMA, with its proven track record, to our audience is so compelling,” said Manuel Abud, president and CEO, Azteca America. “Combate Americas understands the sport and our audience. It’s an unbeatable combination.”
“Our partnership with Azteca will take Combate Americas to the next level,” said Combate Americas founder and CEO Campbell McLaren. “I was there for the beginning of the UFC and saw how critical the correct television partner is to the growth of the franchise. Azteca has incredible reach in both the U.S. and Mexico, which is why this is such an exciting time for us.”
The weekly series, Combate Americas Azteca, hosted by award-winning MMA journalist and Combate Americas color commentator Andrea Calle, will premiere on Thursday, Nov., 3 at 10 p.m. in the U.S. on Azteca America, and on Friday, Nov. 4 at 11 p.m. on TV Azteca’s Channel 7 in Mexico, following the popular La Liga Mexicana football. The monthly live events air live in the U.S. and the following night in Mexico.
Founded by UFC co-creator McLaren and co-owned by Creative Artist Agency (CAA), Bunim/Murray Productions and Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), Combate Americas is the first fight-themed show to win a major television award (“Best Variety or Reality Series” at the 29th annual Imagen Awards on August 1, 2014). The company has expanded its roster to include over 40 fighters and, after producing two live events in 2015, it rolled out a total of five live events in 2016.
Combate Americas live events will continue to air in English via UFC FIGHT PASS®, a digital subscription service which gives fans access to exclusive live UFC events and fights, exclusive live MMA and combat sports events from around the world, exclusive original and behind the scenes content and unprecedented 24-7 access to the world’s largest fight library.