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Pro Elite inks deal with IMG Media

By Zach Arnold | November 30, 2007

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In a story that went under the media radar on Thursday, Pro Elite issued a press release announcing a new content distribution deal with IMG Media.

Under the terms of the deal, IMG will help utilize ProElite’s vast live and archived MMA video content offerings, including live television rights to future events as well as over 800 hours of fight footage from ProElite-branded promotions such as EliteXC, King of the Cage, Icon Sport, Rumble World Entertainment, UK-based Cage Rage, South Korean-based SpiritMC, and Grapplers Quest.

The most interesting part of the press release, however, is this:

“Mixed-martial arts is one of the fastest growing and most dynamic sports around, and IMG Media is excited to work with a market leader like ProElite to bring the company’s world-class programming and related content to an international audience,” said Chris Albrecht, President, IMG Global Media.

Does the name Chris Albrecht ring a bell to you? If not, it should. Albrecht was the major influence at HBO who attempted to spearhead a deal between the network and UFC for Zuffa to get programming on the premium channel. However, the deal fell apart after Albrecht was forced out of his HBO position due to some personal and legal issues.

Albrecht is now aligned with IMG Media, making this deal with Pro Elite something to pay close attention to in the near future.

Topics: Media, MMA, Pro Elite, Zach Arnold | 7 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

7 Responses to “Pro Elite inks deal with IMG Media”

  1. terrence halladay says:

    the last time i heard the name chris albrect it was because he was choking his girlfriend in the parking lot after the de la hoya and mayweather fight and he got arrested and then it came out that it wasn’t the first time he did that so he got fired. classy people img media is aligning with

  2. JP says:

    800 hours? That’s it…

  3. Body_Shots says:

    Anybody want to give of a run down of IMG Media?

  4. Columbia Lou says:

    Is Chris Albrecht gonna have to choke a bitch?

  5. IMG is a pretty big deal.

    KOTC used to be hooked up with Navarre (Brentwood Home Video), which is kind of a bit player, except for a few high profile anime licenses that they hold through Funimation (the big one is Dragonball).

    IMG is really diversified, they’re kind of an incredibly overgrown talent agency. They represent athletes (primarily soccer, tennis, and golf players), they operate sports academies and gyms, they do mobile content distribution (Vodafone among others). They’re hooked up with properties like MTV, if that gives you an idea what sort of distribution capabilities they have. They’re a distributor for Major League Baseball.

    Probably a key item is that they’re also associated with a number of reality television series (Battle of the Network Stars, and the great granddaddy of them all, American Gladiators).

  6. Sam Scaff says:

    IMG represents such megastars as Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Venus Williams, John McEnroe, and in their days, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Evander Holyfield and Muhammed Ali.

    IMG Models represents Gisele Bundchen, Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks, basically all of the top models.

    Needless to say, its a real deal agency.

  7. KennyP says:

    IMG (the company) is a big deal. Whether the Pro Elite deal means anything is another matter. (For example, a few years ago the IndyRacing League announced a deal with Crative Artists Agency to position the IRL in television and movies. But the deal amounted to a while lot of nothing in the end.)

    IMG is (or at least was) the biggest sports talent agency out there. They made their bones in the 1960’s building the image and career of Arnold Palmer. Their current clients include athletes like Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning, Maria Sharapova, Jeff Gordon, Roger Federer, Jack Nicklaus, Shaun White. Other entertainers/celebrities under the IMG umbrella are Heidi Klum, Gisele Bundchen, Bob Costas, John Madden, Jim Nantz and, Dick Vitale.

    Then there is IMG’s television arm TWI. TWI was a pioneer in syndicated sports and time-buy programming. Much “network programming” like Superstars, World’s Strongest Man, NBC’s Action Sports Tour, Ironman, and The Skins Game are actually TWI/IMG programs. And TWI/IMG distributes television for the European PGA tour, the British Open, Ryder Cup, and the FA Premiership.

  8. Zack says:

    “Probably a key item is that they’re also associated with a number of reality television series (Battle of the Network Stars, and the great granddaddy of them all, American Gladiators).”

    Sweet. Maybe they’ll fire Bill Goldberg and hire Hogan away from American Gladiators to do commentary.

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