Monday, May 11, 2015

Interesting Tidbit: 2016 Grammys Set To Air Against Raw

CBS has announced that next year's Grammy Awards will air on Monday, February 15, a first in its nearly sixty-year history. The move, which (for now) is only temporary, is simply an effort to better position the program during a three-day weekend, which will include Valentine's Day and President's Day. This year's show pulled in roughly twenty-five-million viewers, and if that's any indication of what to expect in 2016, I expect WWE to take quite a significant hit.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cheap-Plug Alert!

Shane Helms recently chatted with Journey Of A Frontman's Alex Obert, as part of Obert's 'Sit-Down Series.'

Topics discussed include Omega Championship Wrestling's 'Chaos In Cameron 2' card, which takes place on May 2, and features Matt & Jeff Hardy, and Ricky Steamboat. Click the flyer for more details.

Monday, April 13, 2015

I Don't Know What It Is, And I Probably Won't Watch It, But ...

If you wanna watch Chris Jericho's appearances on all six episodes (an entire season) of Comedy Central's 'Nothing To Report,' you may now do so.

Two New Fights Featuring St. Louis Scrappers Added To "Bellator: Unfinished Business" At The Scottrade Center On June 19

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (April 13, 2015) – On the heels of this morning’s announcement of the Bobby Lashley vs. James Thompson rematch, “Bellator: Unfinished Business” adds a pinch of local flavor with the addition of welterweights Steve Mann (10-1) vs. Justin Guthrie (17-8) and strawweights Dan O’Connor (5-4) vs. Miles McDonald (0-1). The two fights will are the first announced fights of the preliminary card, which can be viewed on Spike.com starting at 4 p.m. PT.

The main card is headlined by a long overdue matchup between street-fighting legend and YouTube sensation Kimbo Slice and "The World's Most Dangerous Man," Ken Shamrock, which kicks off Live and Free on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. CT.

Tickets for "Bellator: Unfinished Business" start at $30 and go on sale to the general public on Friday, March 27, at Bellator.com, Ticketmaster.com and the Scottrade Center Box Office. Online presales begin on Wednesday, March 25.

Iowa's Mann is an intriguing welterweight prospect who has never fought past the opening round in 11 career contests. Eight of his 10 career wins have come by way of submission, including five by rear-naked choke. Mann makes his Bellator MMA debut on this major stage.

"The Pain Train" Guthrie, a Colorado Fight Factory product, also fights under the Bellator MMA banner for the first time. Fighting professionally since 2007, Guthrie boasts past clashes with MMA notables Jesse Forbes, Jorge Santiago, Lumumba Sayers, Gilbert Smith and Bobby Voelker. Guthrie has shown a well-rounded approach in previous contest, earning five victories by knockout, six by submission and six by decision, including two 25-minute contests.

In strawweight action, both "Johnny Irish" O'Connor and McDonald make their Bellator MMA debuts. Interestingly, St. Louis' O'Connor owns four of his five career victories by submission but has also been tapped out in three of his four defeats to date. Meanwhile, McDonald suffered an armbar loss in his May 2014 professional debut and now looks to rebound in his return to the cage.

"Bellator: Unfinished Business" – Friday, June 19, Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Mo.

Main Card on Spike (9 p.m. ET)
Bellator Heavyweight Main Event: Kimbo Slice (4-2) vs. Ken Shamrock (28-15)
Bellator Featherweight Championship: Patricio Pitbull (23-2) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (24-4)
Bellator Heavyweight Feature Fight: Bobby Lashley (12-2) vs. James Thompson (20-14)
Bellator Lightweight Feature Fight: Michael Chandler (12-3) vs. Derek Campos (15-4)

Preliminary Card on Spike.com (7 p.m. ET)
Bellator welterweight prelim fight: Steve Mann (10-1) vs. Justin Guthrie (17-8)
Bellator strawweight prelim fight: Dan O’Connor (5-4) vs. Miles McDonald (0-1)

About Bellator MMA

Bellator MMA is a leading Mixed Martial Arts organization featuring many of the best fighters in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, Bellator is available to nearly 500 million homes worldwide in over 140 countries. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on Spike TV, the MMA television leader. Bellator MMA is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations. Bellator is based in Santa Monica, California and owned by entertainment giant Viacom, home to the world's premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms.

About Spike:

Spike is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks. A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike's Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike's press site at http://www.spike.com/press. Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.

About Scottrade Center:

Celebrating its 20th Anniversary this season, Scottrade Center is a contemporary, 12-story glass and concrete structure located in the heart of downtown St. Louis. The home of the St. Louis Blues Hockey Club, Scottrade Center also features a full range of arena programming, including concerts, ice shows, family shows and other sporting events. Scottrade Center is consistently ranked by Pollstar Magazine as one of the top grossing arenas in the country.

SOURCE: Brener Zwikel & Associates, Inc.

Monday, April 6, 2015

RIP: Steve Rickard

Some sad news, as according to this report from The New Zealand Herald, Steve Rickard has died. Rickard, who wore many hats in and around professional wrestling, was perhaps best known for his stint as a promoter. He will be missed, and I offer my deepest condolences to his friends and family.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

WWE Network® Post-WrestleMania Conference Call

STAMFORD, Conn., Mar. 18, 2015 -- WWE® (NYSE:WWE) announced that it will host a conference call on Monday, March 30, 2015 at 12:00 noon ET to discuss the progress of WWE Network, including WWE Network’s level of subscribers following WrestleMania and the network’s 2015 programming schedule. The Company’s Chairman & CEO, Vincent K. McMahon, and the Company’s Chief Strategy & Financial Officer, George Barrios, will host the conference call.

All interested parties are welcome to listen to a live web cast that will be hosted through the Company’s web site at ir.corporate.wwe.com. Participants can access the conference call by dialing 1-855-200-4993 (toll free) or 1-913-489-5104 from outside the U.S. (conference ID for both lines: 7011866). Please reserve a line 5-10 minutes prior to the start time of the conference call.

The WWE Network presentation referenced during the call will be made available on March 30, 2015 at ir.corporate.wwe.com. A replay of the call will be available approximately two hours after the conference call concludes, and can be accessed on the Company’s web site.

About WWE

WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE programming reaches more than 650 million homes worldwide in 35 languages. WWE Network, the first-ever 24/7 over-the-top premium network that includes all 12 live pay-per-views, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library, is currently available in more than 170 countries. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, Munich and Tokyo.

Additional information on WWE (NYSE: WWE) can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For information on our global activities, go to http://www.wwe.com/worldwide/.

Trademarks: All WWE programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, trademarks, logos and copyrights are the exclusive property of WWE and its subsidiaries. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.

Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks relating to: WWE Network; major distribution agreements; our need to continue to develop creative and entertaining programs and events; a decline in the popularity of our brand of sports entertainment; the continued importance of key performers and the services of Vincent K. McMahon; possible adverse changes in the regulatory atmosphere and related private sector initiatives; the highly competitive, rapidly changing and increasingly fragmented nature of the markets in which we operate and greater financial resources or marketplace presence of many of our competitors; uncertainties associated with international markets; our difficulty or inability to promote and conduct our live events and/or other businesses if we do not comply with applicable regulations; our dependence on our intellectual property rights, our need to protect those rights, and the risks of our infringement of others’ intellectual property rights; the complexity of our rights agreements across distribution mechanisms and geographical areas; potential substantial liability in the event of accidents or injuries occurring during our physically demanding events including, without limitation, claims relating to CTE; large public events as well as travel to and from such events; our feature film business; our expansion into new or complementary businesses and/or strategic investments; our computer systems and online operations; a possible decline in general economic conditions and disruption in financial markets; our accounts receivable; our revolving credit facility; litigation; our potential failure to meet market expectations for our financial performance, which could adversely affect our stock; Vincent K. McMahon exercising control over our affairs, and his interests may conflict with the holders of our Class A common stock; a substantial number of shares which are eligible for sale by the McMahons and the sale, or the perception of possible sales, of those shares could lower our stock price; and the relatively small public “float” of our Class A common stock. In addition, our dividend is dependent on a number of factors, including, among other things, our liquidity and cash flow, strategic plan (including alternative uses of capital), our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends (including under our revolving credit facility), general economic and competitive conditions and such other factors as our Board of Directors may consider relevant. Forward-looking statements made by the Company speak only as of the date made, are subject to change without any obligation on the part of the Company to update or revise them, and undue reliance should not be placed on these statements.

SOURCE: WWE

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Attention: Backyard Wrestlers (Among Others)! ... Looking For Some Exposure?

If so, this could be your ticket.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Variety Reveals Ronda Rousey's Next Film Project

'Mile 22,' whatever that is, also starring Iko Uwais and directed by Peter Berg, whomever they are.

Bellator MMA Statement On Quinton "Rampage" Jackson

Today, Bellator MMA was compelled to go to court to stop Quinton "Rampage" Jackson from fighting in an April 25th bout promoted by Bellator's competitor, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Jackson, who has completed only three fights of his exclusive six-fight contract with Bellator, is barred by contract from fighting for any promoter other than Bellator. Our lawsuit for an injunction and related relief - filed in the Chancery Division of the Superior Court in Burlington County, New Jersey - will compel Jackson to honor his contractual agreement. We look forward to having one of our MMA stars fighting for Bellator again.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Two-Cents - Ronda Rousey and Arianny Celeste

(Hat-tip: Marissa Payne's 'Early Lead' and The Washington Post)

It's amazing how Ronda Rousey is considered to be so "brash" and "outspoken," yet her words tend only to be directed at the sport's bit players, never at those who sign her paychecks.

Rousey believes that fighters are underpaid and ring-card girls are overpaid, which is her right.

Speaking of ring-card girls, Arianny Celeste (who also has a right to her opinion) thinks that Rousey is something of a bully.

Rousey clearly has little respect for Celeste (who seems to be a favorite target of Rousey's) or her work, but I can't help but wonder, when it comes to those who employ Celeste and Rousey, where is that same venom?

After all, if Celeste weren't working for the UFC, she wouldn't even have a job for Rousey to be unimpressed by.

Last week, Rousey was praised for taking a "momma's basement blogger" to task for what she perceived to be their slight on women's mixed-martial-arts.

His comments were nothing when compared to what Dana White has publicly said about female mixed-martial-artists and their abilities, but that was before Rousey was signed by the UFC and made the face of their distaff division, so all appears to be forgiven.

Funny how that works, isn't it?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

MILLER LITE NAMED THE OFFICIAL TITLE SPONSOR FOR BELLATOR MMA

New York, NY, February 10, 2015 - Miller Lite has been named the official title sponsor for Bellator MMA events in 2015, marking the first-ever title sponsorship for the emerging MMA brand.

The partnership will debut with Bellator 134: The British Invasion on Friday, February 27 from the Mohegan Sun Arena, in Uncasville, CT.

"We are thrilled to partner with Miller Lite as we embark on our biggest year ever at Bellator," said Scott Coker, Bellator president. "We share a similar philosophy with Miller Lite where we put quality above all else."

"We've enjoyed being a part of the Bellator family for the past two years and are excited to become the first premier sponsor," said Adam Dettman, MillerCoors director of sports, entertainment and licensing. "We know MMA resonates with Miller Lite fans and look forward to another great year."

"Bellator MMA Presented by Miller Lite" will feature many of the most exciting athletes in the world in hard-hitting events from all around the country. The Miller Lite sponsorship will be across all of Spike and Bellator's platforms and on-site at venues. The partnership includes an on-air branded fight clock graphic, mat signage, custom tune-in spots, and signage at all press conferences. Miller Lite will also support local market activations.

About Bellator MMA

Bellator MMA is a leading Mixed Martial Arts organization featuring many of the best fighters in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, Bellator is available to nearly 500 million homes worldwide in over 140 countries. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on Spike TV, the MMA television leader. Bellator MMA is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations. Bellator is based in Santa Monica, California and owned by entertainment giant Viacom, home to the world's premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms.

About Miller Brewing Company

Miller Brewing Company was founded in 1855 by Frederick J. Miller when he purchased the Plank Road Brewery in Milwaukee, a city he chose as the best place for a brewery given its access to great water. Miller Lite, the original great-tasting light pilsner beer, (MillerLite.com, Facebook.com/MillerLite, @MillerLite on Twitter) was introduced nationally in 1975 and is among the top-five selling beers in the United States. Miller Fortune (MillerFortune.com, Facebook.com/MillerFortune, @MillerFortune on Twitter) is brewed with caramel malt and cascade hops for a balanced taste and smooth finish. The brewery's oldest enduring beer is Miller High Life (MillerHighLife.com, Facebook.com/MillerHighLife, @MillerHighLife on Twitter). Known as the Champagne of Beers, it was introduced in 1903 and is still brewed with the same yeast strain that Miller carried in his pocket from Germany. Miller Genuine Draft (MGD.com, Facebook.com/MillerGenuineDraft, @Miller_Global on Twitter), introduced in 1986, is the original cold-filtered, packaged draft beer. Miller Brewing Company operates in the United States and Puerto Rico as part of MillerCoors, a joint venture of SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company. Learn more at MillerCoors.com, at Facebook.com/MillerCoors or on Twitter through @MillerCoors.

About Spike TV:

Spike TV is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks. A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike TV's Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV's press site at http://www.spike.com/press. Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.

SOURCE: Brener Zwikel & Associates, Inc.

Note from Ric: Impressive, but, as far as revenue and exposure, Bellator is still a long way from the UFC.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Press Release - Hollywood Marketing Expert Rolfe Auerbach To Help Grow Sponsorship Sales For World Series Of Fighting

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 27, 2015 -- Renowned Hollywood brand builder Rolfe Auerbach has joined World Series of Fighting (www.wsof.com), the world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion and NBCUniversal television property announced today.

A 20-year marketing veteran responsible for launching FOX Television Studios' Product Integration Organization and for ushering product integration practices into the music industry, Auerbach, the President and CEO of Los Angeles-based Brand in Entertainment, will be charged with spearheading all sponsorship sales and product integration strategies on behalf of World Series of Fighting.

"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with World Series of Fighting which, in its relatively short lifespan of just over 2 years, has grown exponentially into a powerful sports entertainment vehicle," said Auerbach.

"With its presence on the NBCUniversal platform, its tremendous reach on television platforms throughout the planet and some of the best and most exciting athletes in the sport of MMA, the World Series of Fighting product presents an incredible opportunity for consumer brands to engage the 18-34 year old male demographic."

"We are excited to bring a marketing mastermind and innovator like Rolfe Auerbach on board to our incredible team," said World Series of Fighting President, six-time world champion and two-time Hall of Famer Ray Sefo.

"With Rolfe's wealth of experience and blue-chip level relationships in the consumer products space," continued Sefo, "he will no doubt be able to catapult our brand into the next stratosphere."

Under Auerbach's leadership, Brand in Entertainment, since its inception in 2000, has incorporated products and brands into a host of the world's most popular studio films, television programs, music videos and video games.

In 2006, Auerbach's company famously incorporated a key marketing initiative of upscale hotel chain Embassy Suites, into one of the most-watched episodes of Donald Trump's smash-hit NBC-televised reality series The Apprentice.

Auerbach has executed similar integrations into the television productions of FOX, MGM, Lionsgate and Paramount, as well as into the works of major record labels Universal, Sony, Atlantic, Elektra, RCA, Arista and Jive.

World Series of Fighting programming is available in over 100 countries worldwide as a result of a partnership with IMG, the global leader in sports content distribution.

SOURCE: World Series of Fighting

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Zuffa Decides To "Punish" Jon Jones

The UFC wants you to know that, in testing positive for cocaine, Jon Jones has violated their "Athlete Code of Conduct," and as a result, he'll have to part with $25,000.

I'd call it a slap on the wrist, but that choice of words would be far too harsh.

Jones, of course, is the same guy who, while driving under the influence in 2012, totaled a Bentley, which was worth probably ten-times that amount.

The "fine," it is said, will be donated to a rehab facility, meaning that Jones or Zuffa (or both) will probably be able claim it on their taxes. I'm no tax expert, but maybe Zuffa will issue another statement, this one containing the particulars of how that might work. In the meantime, I won't hold my breath.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

This Must Make The Zuffa Brass REALLY Happy

As if Jon Jones, Nevada's Athletic Commission, and the UFC haven't taken enough flack for how "Cokegate" (I just made that up) was (not) handled, Jones' mother revealed to Binghamton, New York's WBNG that her son only spent a single night in rehab.

Perhaps Dana White should make his fighters sign contracts which only allow their families to accept interview requests from pre-approved media. Sure, it sounds completely ridiculous, but all that means is that it will fit right in with the rest of how this story has been playing out.

Monday, January 12, 2015

COMBAT SPORTS HALL OF FAME SIMULTANEOUSLY LAUNCHES FIRST ONLINE EXHIBITION AND A SOCIAL NETWORK

Exhibition: Muay Thai for MMA | Social Network: Rounds

Cambridge, MA, January 10, 2015 – The Combat Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the launch the online exhibition Muay Thai for MMA, and a new combat sports themed social network called Rounds. The exhibition features text, images, video, and an interactive timeline. The Combat Sports Hall of Fame plans to organize pop-up exhibition events in an effort to link the online exhibition to the physical world. Rounds will serve as social space for members to discuss and share content related to Combat Sports Hall of Fame exhibitions, combat sports topics, and related areas of interest.

“I am excited to announce the launch of the Muay Thai for MMA exhibition and Rounds! The exhibit and the social space are designed to educate and entertain all who visit. This has been a long time coming. The Combat Sports Hall of Fame started as my Master’s thesis project at Harvard University Extension School, and now it is a nonprofit growing its online presence with a goal of establishing a physical space,” said Combat Sports Hall of Fame Founder and President Alvin Benjamin Carter III.

The Combat Sports Hall of Fame started as a graduate thesis, Collecting Excellence: The Creation of a Combat Sports Hall of Fame, written by the Founder and President Alvin Benjamin Carter III while he was in Harvard University Extension School’s Museum Studies Program. The hall of fame grew with support from his advisors, industry professionals, family, and friends. It also has benefited from his years of martial arts training at Redline Fight Sports in Cambridge, MA and his years of writing for MMA Torch. His training and ringside fight coverage have helped him cultivate his combat sports expertise.

The exhibition will have periodic updates keeping it interesting for returning visitors. Visitors are also encouraged to use Rounds to discuss the exhibition and connect with each other. Rounds provides a space where fans of the hall of fame, novice to expert fight fans, museum professionals, and combat sports professionals can learn from each other and have fun sharing content and ideas. Users can create an account and login with their current Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts. The exhibition and the social space are just the first offerings from the Combat Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. Stay tuned!

Visit

Muay Thai for MMA - http://exhibits.combatsportshalloffame.com/
Rounds (A CSHF Social Network) - http://rounds.combatsportshalloffame.com/

Main Website – http://combatsportshalloffame.com

Twitter.com/combatsportshf (#CSHF)
Facebook.com/combatsportshf
Linkedin.com/company/combat-sports-hall-of-fame

About The Combat Sports Hall of Fame

The Combat Sports Hall of Fame is a member of the New England Museum Association (NEMA).

The mission of the Combat Sports Hall of Fame is to celebrate the achievements of elite practitioners, training camps, and organizations in mixed martial arts and all other combat sports; document the history and progression of all martial art forms; and to educate visitors, researchers, and combat sports enthusiast.

The activities of the Combat Sports Hall of fame will include induction ceremonies, exhibitions, archiving records and statistics of various combat sport and its fighters, and producing educational events and programs. Individual martial arts systems will be featured as well.

Combat Sports Hall of Fame. Honoring Excellence in Martial Arts.

SOURCE: Combat Sports Hall of Fame

Friday, January 9, 2015

Programming Alert - Saturday, January 10, 1 PM ET

Cung Le will be featured on the premier of the AXS TV series, 'Celebrity Sweat.'

If you're hoping to learn more about the Le-UFC lawsuit, though, don't bother watching, because this was taped back in August (about one-week before Le's fight against Michael Bisping).