-- Here is a full transcript of the King Mo/Dixie Carter/TNA/Bellator conference call on Thursday:
Moderator: David Schwarz
May 10, 2012
1:00 pm CT
Operator: Good day to everyone and welcome to the Bellator and TNA Joint Conference call. Today's call is being recorded.
At this time for opening remarks and introductions, I'd like to turn things over to Mr. David Schwarz from Spike TV. Please go ahead.
David Schwarz: Thank you so much. Hi everybody. It's a truly historic day here at Spike TV. Bellator and TNA - very exciting announcement. Before I get into that there's a couple of quick housekeeping things.
A transcript will be available of the call. Just shoot me an email. We'll have that by early tomorrow morning so in case you miss anything, and you don't want to miss anything on this call, it will be available first thing in the morning tomorrow. I would like to now turn the call over to Kevin Kay, President of Spike TV.
Kevin Kay: Thanks Dave. I just want to welcome Bjorn Rebney, Chairman and CEO of Bellator Fighting Championships, Dixie Carter who is the President of TNA Entertainment, and our special guest and new member of both Bellator and TNA Wrestling, King Mo.
We're really excited to have our - all these people in the room, particularly King Mo of course. And just wanted to explain that King Mo is going to join TNA this summer, and then he will join Bellator next year when Bellator moves to Spike.
This is a deal that I'm really happy about and really, really pleased with. I think that Spike is uniquely positioned to make a deal like this, because we were able to take two great franchises and two great people, Bjorn and Dixie, and kind of put them together, let them put their heads together and figure out how to make this happen.
And I think we're kind of uniquely positioned to offer an opportunity to Mo, because he's a tremendous personality, a great MMA fighter, a world-class athlete and he loves professional wrestling and that's why this deal really made sense.
And so we're excited and we're always going to be in the business of offering opportunities to fighters, you know, that we can put our businesses together and kind of find unique ways to bring really talented fighters into the house. So with that said I'm going to turn it over to Bjorn.
Bjorn Rebney: Thanks Kevin. I think is excited is the key word. I'm excited and I count myself as fortunate. I'm fortunate because I'm partnering with leaders. I'm partnering with the innovators.
The gentleman sitting over to my right is the top most accomplished executive in the history of mixed martial arts television. The lady that is sitting - and that's Kevin Kay.
The lady sitting to my left is really the prime driving force innovator in the wrestling entertainment arena. And I'm sitting across the table from a gentleman who is a spectacular athlete, a tremendous personality that really transcends sports.
And he's the first guy that's going to look to conquer both of these realms in the sports entertainment arena simultaneously. It's a first of its kind opportunity.
As Dixie and I had talked about many times and then Kevin's entire team here, it took the right kind of personality. It took the right person to put this together, somebody who had a love as Kevin said for wrestling who was a world-class elite level mixed martial artist, and who had the wherewithal and the track record and the history to be able to pull this all together and play in both realms at the same time at a world-class elite level.
So very exciting to be - to have been able to do this, and simultaneously to do it underneath the Spike banner who really wrote the book on mixed martial arts programming, have pushed the envelope and created wrestling programming, the likes of which has never yet - has never before been seen in the world and a family environment and an environment where there's real cooperation between the parties who will impact Bellator Spike are working hand in hand with Mo, and trying to figure out how to put this together, how to make it something really special, how to give somebody an opportunity to do both of these things at once under one umbrella who really wrote the book.
So very exciting and I can't wait to see this. As a fan taking my CEO hat off I can't wait to see this all unfold over the next year under the Spike banner. So with that I will turn it over to Dixie Carter.
Dixie Carter: Thank you Bjorn. I'm very excited as well. I've been pretty vocal the last few years about wanting to find an opportunity like this for somebody to have tremendous success both in the professional wrestling world who also was an accomplished fighter, have had conversations with people who I don't believe ever got the big potential vision of it.
And when I met Bjorn it was - from the very first time we met we clicked. We saw what we could do if we worked together. I can't say enough good things about Kevin Kay.
What he's done to support our brand, to help grow our franchise and, you know, like Bjorn said I don't think there is a - there's not a better network nor a better leader to build an MMA brand than Kevin.
And, you know, when Bjorn and I talked to Kevin, you know, it was - that was kind of the third part of what we needed to, you know, accomplish to make sure we were all on the same page.
Then it was just a matter of finding the right talent. When Mo became available - to have somebody with the kind of unbelievable, you know, wrestling credentials that he has, his personality is off the... (Continues on next page)