Press Release (Courtesy of the IFL)
The International Fight League, Alfred Haber Distribution (AHDI) and Fox Sports Net announced that the American Forces Network will begin airing “IFL Fight Night” beginning in July on a weekly basis.
“We are very pleased that servicemen and women around the globe will now be able to see our world class coaches and athletes on a regular basis,” said Gareb Shamus, IFL co-founder and CEO. “This TV deal, along with our recent partnership with the USO, reaches a key fan base for the sport, and we are looking forward to continuing to grow our relationship with the military in every way we can.”
“The American Forces Network is tremendously excited to have the opportunity to work with the International Fight League, “said Jeff White, executive director of the Defense Media Center. “Mixed martial arts programming has tremendous appeal to our military audience serving overseas. And IFL is particularly appealing in that it’s a team-oriented sport that reflects the international flavor of our uniformed services. Many in our audience are seasoned veterans in several of these specific fighting styles, including wrestling, karate, Taekwondo, kickboxing, judo and jiu-jitsu. We’re grateful to the IFL and Alfred Haber Distribution. The fact that Mr. Shamus and Mr. Haber have allowed the American Forces Network to distribute the IFL is yet another example of America’s commitment to, and support of, our military men and women overseas.”
The deal with AFN is the latest in a series of partnerships between the IFL and the military. Earlier this month the IFL launched an awareness partnership with the USO, with the two organizations working together on a series of goodwill and multimedia projects year-round. Currently IFL coaches and world champions Pat Miletich and Don Frye, along with reigning world champion Dan Henderson are on a Goodwill Tour of the Persian Gulf. IFL coaches and athletes also recently entertained over 3,000 servicemen and women as part of “Fleet Week 2007,” and have held clinics with servicemen and women in Chicago, Everett, Washington, and New London, Connecticut.
The coverage on AFN will be in addition to the IFL’s United States deals with “IFL Battleground” on MyNetworkTV (Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific/7 p.m. Central) and “Fight Night” (Fridays at 11 p.m. on FSN). IFL programming will also be seen starting in July on CanWest Global in Canada, who will distribute the shows on their Global X-Treme Sports Channel and MBC, the leading free-to-air Pan-Arab news and entertainment channel in the Middle East and parts of Africa. The next IFL event will be held Thursday, August 2, at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J., the IFL’s championship semi-finals.