Paramount+ is getting deep into the fight game. The former CBS All Access has acquired the English-language rights to Combate Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), TheWrap has learned.
The multi-year deal between ViacomCBS’ CBS Sports and Combate Global (formerly Combate Americas) will start Friday, June 25 with fighting on CBS Sports Network. The action heads over to Paramount+ on July 9, where it will exist throughout the remainder of 2021. But that’s just the end of the season, not the end of the pact: the agreement will see Paramount+ featuring 30 live events in both 2022 and 2023.
Combate MMA airs in Spanish on Univision and TUDN.
Even after the battered and bruised bodies head to ViacomCBS’ SVOD service, CBS Sports Network will still be in on the *fun*. The cable channel will air a weekly one-hour recap show featuring highlights of that week’s fight card.
The fight events will be preceded by a 30-minute preview show. Paramount+ will house Combate’s fight library for on-demand viewing. CBS Sports Network will have re-airs of Combate events.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Combate Global features fighters from across the world with a country vs. country style of competition, which it has set up that way to mimic the nationalism on display during international soccer matches. Fighters will face off in “La Jaula,” the Combate cage, on the company’s Miami, Florida set. Max Bretos and Julianna Peña call the action.
“The addition of Combate Global’s exciting MMA action is a tremendous opportunity for Paramount+ to further expand its reach to a young and diverse fanbase,” Jeffrey Gerttula, CBS Sports Digital’s executive vice president and general manager, said in a statement. “We believe Combate events will complement the expansive live soccer programming that is now a cornerstone of our industry-leading sports coverage on the service and deliver even more unique sports content across CBS Sports platforms.”
“We are thrilled to partner with CBS Sports and bring Combate Global action to the Paramount+ platform,” Combate Global CEO Campbell McLaren said. “Millions of combat sports fans have heard about Combate Global’s fast and furious version of MMA and can now see for themselves. Find out why Combate is ‘Much More Action’ with our world class announcing team calling the action.”