FOX SPORTS NET TO BROADCAST THE INTERNATIONAL FIGHT LEAGUE’S HIGHLY ANTICIPATED DEBUT
Three Original Taped Telecasts Will Air Nationally in May and June, Highlighting New League’s Innovative Team-Based Concept Los Angeles – March 28, 2006 – Underscoring the fast-growing popularity of mixed martial arts, Fox Sports Net (FSN), a division of the FOX Broadcasting Company and News Corp, today announced an agreement with the International Fight League (IFL) to nationally televise the IFL’s debut event across a series of at least three original taped telecasts that will air in May and June this year. The action-packed shows will be cut from footage gathered during the IFL’s live world premiere event taking place on Saturday, April 29 in Atlantic City at Trump Taj Mahal.
Recently-formed, the IFL mixes the intense action of mixed martial arts (MMA) with the established team-and season-based approach found in America’s most loved sports. MMA legends Bas Rutten, Pat Miletich, Renzo Gracie and Maurice Smith will coach and lead four teams – Anacondas, Silverbacks, Pitbulls and Tigersharks – comprised of five fighters each in the lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions. The events will be held in a ring (not in a cage), believed to be the most conducive environment for fighters, fans and production.
Two teams will be seen battling on FSN’s first telecast on Sunday, May 21 at 6pm locally, followed by the other two teams on Sunday, May 28 at 6pm locally. The two winning teams will then be seen squaring off for the IFL Legends Championship broadcast in early June. The televised shows will be produced by Emmy award-winning producer Peter Lasser, who has worked on several Olympic telecasts as well as with ESPN, NBC Sports, NFL Films and FSN, among others.
The new league was formed by Gareb Shamus, founder and chairman of the comics empire Wizard Entertainment Group, and Kurt Otto, a highly successful New Jersey real estate investor and a life-long martial arts participant.
“When it comes to delivering action, FSN is known for being the most innovative network out there,“ said IFL co-founder Shamus. “We couldn’t have found a better place to televise our debut, and we’re committed to giving fans a great, action-packed event, which we know will turn into three killer shows,” he added.
IFL Commissioner Otto added, “This sport is getting bigger and bigger every day, and we believe the IFL is ushering in an exciting new era in mixed martial arts. From top to bottom, we have created a league and an event that will bring MMA to a larger audience. The fact that FSN believes in the IFL concept so much that they’re televising our first event is incredible. We know the audience is ready, and so are we.”
The fight card for the IFL’s live world premiere currently is as follows:
SILVERBACKS VS. ANACONDAS
Pat Miletich – Coach Bas Rutten – CoachNate Schroeder, Asst. Coach Shaun Tompkins, Asst. CoachJeff Curran, Asst. Coach Ron Frazier, Asst. CoachLW: Bart Palaszewski vs. LW: John Shackleford WW: Rory Markham vs. WW: Mike Pyle MW: Ryan McGivern vs. MW: Amir Rahnavardi LHW: Travis Wiuff vs. LHW: Alex Shoenauer HW: Ben Rothwell vs. HW: Krzysztof Soszynski
PITBULLS VS. TIGERSHARKS
Renzo Gracie – Coach Maurice Smith – CoachAsst. Coach – TBA Michael Murray, Asst. CoachAsst. Coach – TBA Roman Roytberg, Asst. CoachLW: Eric Owens vs. LW: Justin JonesWW: Gustavo Muchado vs. WW: Brad BlackburnMW: Fabio Leopoldo vs. MW: Dennis HallmanLHW: Jamal Patterson vs. LHW: Reece AndyHW: Carlos Kline vs. HW: Devin Cole
About the International Fight League:Founded in 2005, the International Fight League (IFL) was created to establish a centralized and structured organization that brings the power and influence of the mixed martial arts industry together. Currently, four teams comprise the IFL: Silverbacks, Anacondas, Pitbulls and Tigersharks. For more information and action, go to www.IFL.tv
About FSN:FSN reaches more than 81 million homes through its network of 2 regional sports channels. Established in 1996, FSN is the only cable network that supplies national, regional and local sports programming. FSN serves as the cable TV home to 62 of the 82 MLB, NHL and NBA teams based in the United States, and produces over 4,500 live events each year. FSN has an extensive catalog of original national programs, including Best Damn Sports Show Period and Beyond the Glory documentary series, along with national packages of collegiate sports. Based in Los Angeles, FSN is part of the vast FOX Sports television family. For the latest up-to-the-minute sports news and opinions, visit the FOX Sports/FSN website atwww.FoxSports.com.