by Ivan Trembow – MMAWeekly.com
(photo courtesy of FEG)
MMAWeekly has learned that for the first time since K-1 lost its United States pay-per-view distribution deal with ESPN last year, a K-1 event is scheduled to air on American PPV with a tape delay of less than one week. A K-1 USA event will take place in Las Vegas on Saturday, August 12th, and the event will debut on American pay-per-view six days later on Friday, August 18th.
In addition to several superfights that have not yet been announced or even determined, this event will feature an eight-man tournament, with the winner getting a spot in the final sixteen of this year’s K-1 World Grand Prix in Japan. The winner of last year’s K-1 World Grand Prix was Semmy Schilt.
The currently scheduled six-day tape delay for this K-1 event is a far cry from live PPV for American events, or a same-day tape delay for international events.
However, it’s also much shorter than the several-month tape delays that K-1 events have had ever since Integrated Sports, a sports marketing company, picked up the United States PPV distribution rights for K-1 events earlier this year.
While Zuffa’s decision to raise the price of UFC pay-per-view events to $39.95 has led a domino effect of sorts, this has not yet extended to K-1 in the United States.
Following Zuffa’s decision to go with the $39.95 price point, Pride raised the price of its non-Bushido PPV events to $34.95 (up from $29.95), the WFA decided to charge $34.95 for an event that might have otherwise carried a $29.95 price tag, and even World Wrestling Entertainment decided to raise the price of its PPV events to $39.95 (up from $34.95) in order to avoid being seen as “beneath” the UFC on the PPV totem pole.
Despite the price increases of other organizations, K-1 has made the decision to stick with the $29.95 price point in the United States, at least for now.
Prior to the K-1 USA pay-per-view in August, two K-1 events that took place in May will debut on American pay-per-view in July, as previously reported by MMAWeekly.
One of these two events is a K-1 Hero’s event, which marks the first time that an event from K-1′s growing MMA promotion will air on American pay-per-view.
The K-1 Hero’s show that took place in Japan on May 3rd will debut on American PPV on Friday, July 14th. Following that, the K-1 Amsterdam show that took place on May 13th will debut on American PPV on Friday, July 28th.