K-1 Global have released a statement disputing GLORY Kickboxing and their deal to bring the K-1 library to UFC Fight Pass.
GLORY made the announcement that alongside their programming they would be bringing the K-1 library to UFC Fight Pass.
The parent company of K-1 (FEG) started having financial problems in 2010, which included the non-payment of their fighters. In 2011, the ownership of K-1 rights was reportedly sold to Barbizon Co., LTD.
However, it was then reported that EMCOM Inc. Entertainment purchased the K-1 rights from Barbizon soon after for around £7m dollars. This initiated the creation of K-1 Global Holdings Limited.
In 2013, it was reported that FEG had actually sold the “use rights” of the K-1 library to GLORY Sports International. Which at the time, K-1 tried to dispute. Three years later, it looks like it’s happening again.
K-1 Global’s statement on the GLORY/UFC deal offers very little clarification on the matter except for the fact that they believe GLORY has no legal standing to sell the broadcasting rights of the K-1 library.
K-1 Global believe they are the sole owner of all K-1 trademarks and assets, including the official K-1 library.
The official statement from K-1 Global reads:
“On Friday, January 12th, an announcement was made by the UFC that over 100 K-1 events would be added to their streaming library on their UFC Fight Pass platform thanks to an agreement with GLORY Sports International. K-1 Global is currently the only owner of the K-1 trademarks and other K-1 related assets throughout the world. That means that any and all of K-1’s assets are legally under the control of K-1 Global and need the permission of K-1 Global before any such deal could be brokered. No other third party has the rights or permission to sell K-1’s assets, nor has K-1 given any permission for such a sale.
In September of 2013 during the bankruptcy process for the former owners of the K-1 brand, FEG, certain parts of the K-1 library were sold to GLORY Sports International that it no longer had the legal rights to sell. Those assets were already purchased by and owned by K-1 Global, thus there was no legal basis for selling said assets. Currently there is a legal process under way in Japan, which has been ongoing since the original announcement of the purported sale in 2013.
Once again, K-1 Global is the sole owner of the K-1 brand and has not sold any rights to its assets to the UFC or GLORY.”
So, FEG; the original parent company of K-1, sold the rights for the K-1 library to GLORY, but they didn’t actually have the right to do that? The confusing statement offers very little clarification on the matter, but expect more from this shortly, with an official response from GLORY and/or UFC, very likely.