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Bellator MMA programming to continue in new Spike re-branded Paramount Network

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community news, Bellator MMA programming to continue in new Spike re branded Paramount Network

On Wednesday, The Hollywood Reporter published a story claiming Spike TV would be rebranding as the Paramount Network with the change to take place as early as 2018. According to an internal memo obtained by MMA Fighting, and authored by current Spike TV President Kevin Kay, that’s precisely what they plan to do.

“The time is right for THE PARAMOUNT NETWORK,” Kay says in his memo. “The big news for all of us today is that Spike will re-brand as The Paramount Network over the next year – with a tentative launch scheduled for early 2018.”

While Kay doesn’t highlight individual programs or entities by name, the memo suggests much of the current programming will remain in place. Additionally, sources tell MMA Fighting that Bellator will be as much of a priority in Paramount as it has been under Spike.

“The Paramount Network will take Spike’s already strong programming mix and amplify it with the Paramount brand. Its focus will be on building distinctive, high-quality scripted and non-scripted original programming – with dramas, comedies, documentaries, movies, sports and tentpole events. It will also incorporate third-party programming, as well as films from other studio’s libraries.”

Additional media reports suggest the re-branding of Spike is part of a larger effort by parent company Viacom to prioritize six brands in the portfolio: MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Comedy Central, BET and Paramount. Paramount could also obtain programming from other networks in an effort to make it a larger player in entertainment television.

Spike began carrying UFC programming in 2005 with the launch of The Ultimate Fighter reality show and Ultimate Fight Night live events broadcasts.

In 2011, the UFC left the network for FOX Sports, leaving Spike to purchase and ultimately bring the Bellator MMA brand over in 2013. Bellator currently runs more than 20 live events annually on Spike.

Read Kay’s memo in full below:

All-

Today is a watershed moment for us at Spike.

It is the culmination of years of hard work transforming Spike into a premium entertainment destination. The time is right to take the next big leap forward – to capitalize on this moment when the appetite for powerful storytelling and high-quality cinematic production has never been greater in television.

The time is right for THE PARAMOUNT NETWORK.

For more than 100 years, the iconic Paramount name has been closely associated with the biggest stars and most compelling stories in all of entertainment. It’s a studio known worldwide with unparalleled brand recognition. As one of the biggest media companies in the world, Viacom has an incredibly wide-ranging portfolio of indelible brands that have unique and powerful relationships with broad and diverse audiences across the globe, including the successful Paramount Channel aired internationally, from France to Latin America to Russia.

The big news for all of us today is that Spike will re-brand as The Paramount Network over the next year – with a tentative launch scheduled for early 2018.

The Paramount Network will take Spike’s already strong programming mix and amplify it with the Paramount brand. Its focus will be on building distinctive, high-quality scripted and non-scripted original programming – with dramas, comedies, documentaries, movies, sports and tentpole events. It will also incorporate third-party programming, as well as films from other studio’s libraries.

The new leadership team under Bob Bakish has great confidence in our ability to make The Paramount Network a huge success. We will have more information to share on the re-brand in the coming weeks – and know that I intend to keep you updated along the way.

But for now, let me say how much I look forward to taking this exciting next step with you. I hope you are as fired up as I am for the future!

Kevin

Source:: mma fighting