MTV-Mercury Sports deal to develop, broadcast Brave Fight Nights in India

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MTV, the youth channel from Viacom18 stable, has entered into a long-term partnership with Mercury Sports Entertainment, the India master franchise holder of Brave Combat Federation, to air Brave fight nights and develop IP formats for reality show.

MTV has reportedly agreed to package and air the upcoming fight night Brave 20. While the fight is scheduled on December 22 in Hyderabad, MTV will air it in January.

Brave Combat Federation’s second entry into India will have some of the top Indian MMA talents on the fight card. Seasoned Super Fight League fighter is also set to make his Brave 20 debut against in a bantamweight matchup with Harold Banario at the Brave CF Hyderabad card.

Founded by Bahrain’s Royal Family member Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa in 2016, Brave is regarded as one of the key Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotions out of the Middle East.

“We have signed a multi-year deal with Mercury Sports Entertainment for the telecast of the upcoming and previous fights of Brave Combat Federation,” Economic Times has reported Ferzad Palia, Head –  Youth, Music and English Entertainment at Viacom18, as saying.

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“We will air the India fight (scheduled in Hyderabad on Saturday) in January but future endeavour will be to go live,” says Ferzad.  “It’s high time we get some good quality international fights on mainstream platforms. We at Viacom18 have been pushing for ultimate sports, including MMA, E-Sports and poker. We will continue to pursue various sports.”

Mercury Sports Entertainment had signed a 5-year master franchise agreement with Brave CF in August this year, allowing the company to be the official partner and India promoter of Brave CF. ET had reported about the company’s plans to launch a reality show and a league, wherein participants from the reality show can directly get drafted.

On the deal with MTV, Akbar Rasheed, founder promoter of Mercury Sports Entertainment, said, “We are looking at making Brave a national television show. We want to own the sport, create a grassroots programme and build stars. We will get a great reach via MTV, Voot and Jio TV for Brave 20 as part of the deal.”

Brave fight nights are usually 6-hour events that cost about ₹2.5 crore. Between TV and digital platforms, Rasheed said the company is eyeing a reach of 300 million viewers.

Aditya PS, president of All India Mixed Martial Arts Federation (AIMMAF), said that the deal with MTV will help in creating mass awareness for the sport. “Brave is the fastest growing promotion from South Asia. With MTV’s focus on youth and programmes like MTV Cafes and merchandise, it becomes a natural fit for Brave,” he said.

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