Randy Couture has signed a new deal to keep him involved in mixed martial arts, but what may or may not come as a surprise, is the company he signed the deal with.
Spike TV officials on Tuesday morning sent out a release confirming a new partnership between the network and the former UFC champion, although they didn’t yet announce the scope of the partnership.
The crux of the deal, however, is Couture’s involvement as a coach on the upcoming Bellator MMA reality series that begins filming in February.
The partnership, according to a report by Sports Illustrated and confirmed by MMAWeekly.com sources, is a multi-year agreement that involves multiple projects. The Bellator coaching stint is just the launching pad.
Seeing as how Spike TV and Bellator MMA are properties under the Viacom umbrella, Couture’s involvement will likely heavily revolve around Bellator, but may include many other opportunities.
Viacom is a multi-billion-dollar media company that includes BET Networks, MTV Networks, and Paramount Pictures, among other interests.
MMAWeekly.com’s sources said Couture’s position as one of the first two coaches on Bellator’s new reality series on Spike TV is set, and further indicated that his opposing coach is likely to be another pioneering figure in mixed martial arts.
Official details of Couture’s new partnership with Spike will be revealed on Tuesday, Feb. 5, during a media conference call.
UFC president Dana White, when asked about the possibility of his company being a monopoly, along with citing a Federal investigation that determined it is not, has often noted that part of Bellator’s ownership includes Viacom, and that Viacom is sitting on billions of dollars that the UFC isn’t.
It now seems that Viacom is ready to start utilizing some of that money and it’s position in the entertainment industry to build Bellator into a viable competitor.