Peter Chernin, News Corp.’s former chief operating officer, is investing in the Hong Kong-based mixed martial arts promoter Legend Fighting Championship.
CA Media LP, the Asian division of Chernin Group, and Diamond Ridge Ventures LLC are making the investment, the companies said in an e-mailed statement. Terms weren’t provided.
Legend will vie for fans with Ultimate Fighting Championship and World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE), which also hold events in Asia. WWE and UFC are weighing whether to start their own U.S. TV channels. Their matches draw some of the biggest audiences on cable TV and pay-per-view.
“We are committed to helping Legend develop its high- quality MMA offering into the leading and most exciting martial arts franchise coming out of Asia, the original home of martial arts, and onto the world stage,” Chernin said in the release.
Founded in 2009, Legend will host its fifth championship on July 16 at Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. (MPEL)’s City of Dreams casino in Macau. The event, with tickets priced as high as HK $1,280 ($164), will feature events with welterweight champion Rod MacSwain of New Zealand and Chinese title holder Yao Honggang. Bouts are carried on television networks including Kix, owned by Haim Saban and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (LGF)
Legend, co-founded by managing directors Michael Haskamp and Chris Pollak, marks Chernin’s first Asian investment. CA Media Chief Executive Officer Paul Aiello, former CEO of News Corp.’s Star TV service, and Josh Swartz, managing director of Newport Beach, California-based Diamond Ridge, are joining Legend’s board, the companies said.
Chernin, 60, founded Chernin Entertainment and Chernin Group, both based in Santa Monica, California, after leaving News Corp. in July 2009. Chernin Entertainment makes TV shows and films, while the Chernin Group manages, operates and invests in media, entertainment and technology companies.
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