There were reports recently, confirmed by president Court Bauer, that MLW would be making major moves in 2020. We’re now learning about one aspect of those moves. Whether they end up with the promotion being a bigger player in the televised pro wrestling game remains to be seen.
Deadline broke the news that MLW signed with ICM partners, a major Hollywood talent agency. A press release confirming it and outlining the goals of the partnership soon followed:
MAJOR LEAGUE WRESTLING SIGNS WITH ICM PARTNERS
Agency Will Sell Television and Streaming Rights For The Burgeoning Wrestling League As Well As Help Create A Slate Of Original Scripted and Non-Scripted Programming
ICM Partners has signed Major League Wresting, the fastest growing league in professional wrestling, with an eye toward negotiating new broadcast and streaming rights deals for the burgeoning league, which become available this spring. ICM Partners will also represent MLW with the launch of MLW Studios, a multi-platform media studio, offering a slate of original scripted and non-scripted programming.
The appetite for this sport on television and streaming is highlighted by the recent megadeals that were negotiated between WWE and Fox/Comcast and AEW and Warner Media.
MLW currently airs weekly on beIN SPORTS in English and in Spanish. MLW’s impressive quality and hyper-realistic storytelling have made their product a darling among wrestling insiders and fight fans, despite competition from numerous other leagues. The league showed growth of over 43% in total viewers from 2018 to 2019, by targeting millennial and Latino audiences, and their weekly 60-minute series Fusion reaches over 2.5 million eyeballs on beIN Sports.
With professional wrestling experiencing what many are considering a new renaissance in popularity, MLW is poised to make a significant impact in the space with whichever carrier they choose as their tag-team partner.
Based in New York, MLW is sports media holding company with a focus on professional wrestling sporting events/programming, digital content and ancillary entertainment. MLW produces live events and original shoulder programming for television, OTT and digital platforms in English and Spanish and is currently distributed in 14 countries and counting.
“As the only free agent in the wrestling space in 2020, MLW is in a unique position in the television landscape,” said Court Bauer, creator and Chief Executive Officer, Major League Wrestling. “MLW provides an extraordinary entertainment experience, showcasing some of the sport’s most storied and iconic families, embracing the Mexican lucha libre culture and presenting original content in a 360 manner.”
It all sounds good, but the job of a press release is to make it all sound good. Other promotions and companies have agents, or have signed with agencies. Sometimes it leads to bigger things. Sometimes it doesn’t.
We’ll see if ICM can do better for MLW than beIN and YouTube has so far.