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[03/11/08 - 10:02 AM]
BET Slams Into the Arena of Mixed Martial Arts with New Original Series 'Iron Ring' Premiering Tuesday, March 18 at 11 P.M. ET/PT
The 13-episode series features teams led by Floyd Mayweather, Ludacris, Nelly, T.I., Juelz Santana, Jim Jones and Lil Jon.

[via press release from BET]

BET Slams Into the Arena of Mixed Martial Arts with New Original Series 'IRON RING' Premiering Tuesday, March 18 at 11 P.M. ET/PT

Teams Led by Floyd Mayweather, Ludacris, Nelly, T.I., Juelz Santana, Jim Jones and Lil Jon Battle it Out in the New Mixed Martial Arts Series

LOS ANGELES, March 11 -- Introducing celebrities from the worlds of hip-hop, sports and Hollywood to the competitive ranks of mixed martial arts (MMA), BET showcases a twist to this exciting format with its new original series IRON RING premiering Tuesday, March 18 at 11 p.m. ET/PT.

IRON RING, a 13-episode half-hour weekly series showcasing mixed martial arts -- the fastest-growing new sports format in entertainment -- pairs celebrity team owners, trainers and fighters to produce some of the most compelling match-ups on television. Headlining the show is boxing champ Floyd Mayweather (with the assistance of hip-hop star Rick Ross) managing the Money Mayweather Boys, along with hip-hop heavyweights Ludacris and Nelly representing Team Luda and Team Nelly (respectively); T.I. with the help of Big Kuntry, Young Dro, DJ Drama and Alpha Omega leading Team Grand Hustle; Juelz Santana and Jim Jones heading Dipset; and Lil Jon with the Head Busters.

"When I heard BET was bringing IRON RING to the air ... I wanted to be involved in any way I could," said team owner Ludacris. "... What people will get out of IRON RING is that it's less about the man in the fight and more about the fight in the man."

With $100,000 in prize money up for grabs, these skilled competitors go toe-to-toe in the IRON RING using the combined fighting techniques of jiu-jitsu, judo, karate, boxing, kickboxing and wrestling. From competitive team tryouts and grueling practices to the final face-off at the live championship, IRON RING not only exposes the hardcore sport of mixed martial arts, but also uniquely explores the human element by providing insight into the lives of the fighters and coaches.

"With IRON RING, BET is delivering on our mission of providing a wide range of programming for our audience, while also creating another forum for black athletes to showcase their martial arts talent," said Reginald Hudlin, President of Entertainment for BET.

IRON RING is produced by Zilo Live, Inc. in association with the Warrington Hudlin Organization. Executive Producers are Campbell McLaren and David Isaacs, originators of the popular Ultimate Fighting Championship(R) franchise, along with Warrington Hudlin, best known as the producer of the popular feature films House Party and Boomerang.

Integrated marketing partnerships include Sony PlayStation's "God of War," Old Spice and Summit Entertainment's film "Never Back Down" featuring Djimon Hounsou.

For show highlights and access to the exclusive IRON RING blog, visit http://www.bet.com/ironring.

About BET Networks

BET Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 87 million households according to Nielsen Media Research, and can be seen in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET Digital Networks -- BET J, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Mobile, a service venture into the lucrative world of ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, an extension of BET network programming for global distribution. For up-to-the-minute and archival press information including releases and photographs, visit BET's press-only Web site at http://www.bet.com/pr.

About Zilo Live, Inc.

Zilo Live creates and produces groundbreaking mixed martial arts (MMA) television programming and events. Company founders David Isaacs and Campbell McLaren created The Ultimate Fighting Championship(R) and pioneered the now mainstream sport of mixed martial arts (MMA). Zilo Live is a subsidiary of Zilo Networks, a leading creator and distributor of celebrity, event and reality programming. Isaacs and McLaren's credits include more than 50 live pay-per-view events in genres ranging from music to comedy to sports; award winning productions for broadcast, cable and new media outlets; and the establishment of Zilo TV, the largest in-dorm college television network in the nation.

About The Warrington Hudlin Organization, Inc.

The Warrington Hudlin Organization is a celebrated media producer known for its artistic innovation, social consciousness, and commitment to diversity. The company's current production portfolio includes motion pictures, television, and online interactive programming for the internet.

SOURCE BET Networks
http://www.bet.com/ironring





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