Since its inception in 2012 GLORY has yet to really find a steady home for their programming in the United States. One of the focal points of the company has been to penetrate the US sports market, to which there have been steady strides forward, but also mixed results. Things looked like they were about to change when the promotion landed a deal with Spike TV, but GLORY served more as a pilot program for Bellator Kickboxing events, which began in 2016 after GLORY had safely departed the Spike TV ecosystem.
GLORY landed a deal with ESPN that all came together at the last minute, but seemed promising. Since then the results seem mixed, the say the least. Our friend Kiksie put together a chart yesterday to outline GLORY’s television ratings in the US.
— Kiksie (@KiksieDB) July 18, 2017
Starting with GLORY 25 was GLORY’s deal with ESPN. The surprise was GLORY 33’s ratings, but the company also seemed to put less pressure on themselves to acquire monster ratings or really impress the network. From a fan perspective, the ESPN deal has been fine, but not great. ESPN3 works — well, actually — and because it’s ESPN’s web platform there aren’t delays or interruptions. That being said, ESPN keeps their web numbers internal and doesn’t tend to share them, so trying to understand how many people are watching live is nearly impossible.
The reports we’ve heard are that GLORY’s ESPN deal nets them shares of ad revenue, while their deal with Fight Pass gets a lump sum, making Fight Pass the unexpected money-maker for the company in the United States.
Last week, in the midst of preparations for GLORY 43, the promotion issued a press release stating that they had hired media rights distributor MP & Silva to handle the distribution and sales of GLORY programming moving forward. MP & Silva have worked with brands such as MLB, NBA and MLS in the past and currently works with the NFL. The company’s portfolio certainly speaks volumes for them, but it remains-to-be-seen what they can do with GLORY just yet. Word has it that GLORY’s deal with ESPN extends into 2018 and the hiring of this new firm certainly shows their intent to find a better television deal moving forward.