As everyone should know by now, the “Bisping vs. Miller” season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show is the last installment of the series that will ever air on Spike TV. With the new FOX deal in place all UFC programming is making a shift to FOX and its network of affiliate stations and SPIKE TV is moving in a different direction as well.
In a report/interview done by Loretta Hunt of SportsIllustrated.com she shared a discussion with a SPIKE TV executive named Kevin Kay who told of the plans for the Bellator promotion on their channel.
Already, Spike.com is showing Bellator prelims and while the UFC still holds the network by the pills in regards to MMA programming, Bellator is expected to make a complete jump in 2013 to the former home of the UFC.
SPIKE is hoping to be able to launch Bellator in the same fashion they did with the UFC and it all starts with a quality reality series, followed by great fight night programming, but can they do it?
Here are some highlights from the SportsIllustrated.com interview:
“ One thing we won’t do is duplicate The Ultimate Fighter. It’s a great franchise and it’s going to go on to another network. I actually think the tournament format is a little bit like The Ultimate Fighter without the reality piece of it, per se, because every fighter is fighting three times over the course of the tournament to win the championship. You fight, you lose, you go home. There’s a lot of reality already baked into that idea. There’s different kinds of reality ideas that were starting to kick around — nothing we have our hearts set on yet — but we’re hearing lots of good ideas for reality programming around Bellator. But it won’t be 16 guys in a house. We’re not doing that show over again”
“One of the great things about having this much time to prepare and having Bellator on MTV2 throughout next year, is we have the next 14-15 months to hear a lot of pitches, pick what we want to do, put things in production, (including) a lot of reality programming around Bellator, some shoulder programming. We’re going to take Bellator’s library of fights, see what’s there and see how we can package that because, for the fans, they’ve not seen most of these Bellator fighters before so we want to build those stars. And it’s actually fresh library product, so there’s lots we can do and we have 15 months to figure it out.”
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