ProElite, Image Entertainment sign multiyear distribution agreement

Mumbai: Independent licensee, producer and distributor of home entertainment programming in North America Image Entertainment announced that it has signed a multiyear North American DVD distribution agreement with ProElite, a sports, entertainment and media company dedicated to producing world-class mixed martial arts (MMA) events.

The exclusive agreement calls for the distribution of DVDs under ProElite’s EliteXC and ShoXC brands. The first two releases are Destiny featuring Frank Shamrock versus Renzo Gracie and Renegade with the professional MMA debut of Kimbo Slice, as well as a lightweight title fight featuring Nick Diaz versus KJ Noons, both streeting 13 May.

Releasing on 22 July is a DVD showcasing two of MMA’s most infamous warriors: from Huntington Beach, California, the original street fighter and Huntington Beach Bad Ass David Tank Abbott, and from the streets of Miami, Florida, and rising to epic fame on the Internet, Kimbo Slice.

The DVD series will showcase live events produced by EliteXC, ProElite’s premier MMA fight division, as well as ShowXC, an EliteXC and Showtime Networks coproduction that features the rising stars of MMA.

"There is a growing market for high-quality arena-based mixed martial arts content, and ProElite is the premier source for this type of sports entertainment," said Image Entertainment senior vice president of marketing Steven DeMille. "We are pleased to add ProElite to our roster of content suppliers as we continue to grow both our distribution channels and scope of programming."

ProElite recently announced a partnership with CBS that will bring MMA to a major primetime network.

CBS is scheduled to broadcast four MMA events per year, produced by ProElite’s EliteXC fight division, as two-hour live primetime specials targeted for Saturday nights.

The first event will be broadcast 31 May on CBS Network Television.

"With MMA going primetime, we are introducing the sport to a whole new audience that will likely drive demand for MMA events on DVD," said ProElite vice president of home entertainment Turi Altavilla. "Watching these DVDs will be like having front row seats at MMA events."

Image and ProElite expect to release approximately four EliteXC titles and eight ShoXC titles per year.