Looking for an attention-grabbing way to jump-start its 4K pay-per-view business, SES announced that it will broadcast a bare-knuckle championship fight card live in Ultra HD from Cheyenne, Wyoming.
SES will show the fights tomorrow night through iNDEMAND PPV live in Ultra HD starting at 9 p.m. EST to subscribers of the nearly 40 cable and IPTV service operators signed on to its SES Ultra HD platform. In the past, SES has shown live mixed martial arts and Winter Olympics events on this 4K channel.
Multi Vision Media will produce the event for SES. Saturday’s event will be an eight-man tournament, with the pugilists gambling their facial features for a $50,000 prize.
“Events like the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship are immersive building blocks toward an exciting future in Ultra HD television,” said John Schultz, Vice President of Broadcast Operations for iNDEMAND.
SES said Saturday’s card is the first bare-knuckle championship event of its kind since 1889.
Speaking to Fierce at the Pay TV Show in Denver last month, Steve Corda, North American sales chief for Luxembourg-based SES, said the satellite company is investing heavily in its 4K service, which offers fully licensed, packaged and transcoded Ultra HD programming networks—most of them genre-themed around topics like NASA—to a range of operators.
Corda said the company was closing in on 40 operators in various phases of trial and commercial deployment for the 4K service.
“If we can enable [the fledgling 4K market], it will become an opportunity for us,” Corda said. “As this continues to grow, we’ll see our monetization grow further. We’re tied into this from investment point of view.”
The all-in-one Ultra HD offering, which touts a collective audience of more than 40 million subscribers, combines a growing channel line-up, satellite distribution and reception gear. In addition to the SES channel dedicated to events, the line-up features Fashion One 4K, NASA TV UHD, 4K Universe, Insight TV, C4K360, Funbox UHD, Travelxp 4K, Nature Relaxation 4K, The Country Network, UHD1, and the SES 4K channel, a developmental incubator for emerging content producers.