Warner Bros. is creating a smackdown on home video!
Warner Home Video and The International Fight League, Inc. the world's first professional team-based mixed martial arts league, have reached an agreement for the exclusive worldwide home entertainment distribution of IFL branded programming. The announcement was jointly made by Jeff Brown, WHV Senior Vice President and General Manager TV and Franchise, and Gareb Shamus, IFL Co-founder and CEO.
WHV will be the exclusive worldwide home entertainment distributor for all IFL content including sanctioned league fights, sanctioned championship fights, and IFL specials and/or events. WHV will distribute the IFL programming via packaged media (DVD) as well as through Electronic Sell Through (EST.)
The first full 11 date IFL season will launch January 19 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California with 12 teams representing the U.S. as well as Canada and Japan. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has experienced significant growth in the last few years with the emergence of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC.) The IFL will expand the sport of MMA in a team format to an international audience and continue to grow the brand.
WHV plans to distribute no less than four new programs each year for the next 3 years. Titles will vary from complete matches to year in review, fighter profiles and best knockouts with the first, DVD set to be released Q3, 2007.
Regarding the announcement, Brown remarked, "We are extremely excited to bring fans what we feel is one of the fastest growing sports in the world through our deal with the IFL. With the tremendous success of MMA releases, we're thrilled to bring this team oriented league to home video for the first time ever."
He added, "The IFL has done an exceptional job launching this new format of mixed martial arts and we look forward to building a long lasting relationship and producing quality home video that the fans will want to add to their collection."
Shamus said "We are thrilled to join forces with Warner Home Video on a worldwide home video distribution deal. To join their roster of sports clients is an honor for us and we will work closely with them to expand the IFL brand into the home video market."