Following yesterday's news of "Survivor" producer Mark Burnett bringing the AAA Lucha Libre promotion to TV on El Rey Network, below is an official press release regarding the project:
MARK BURNETT AND ROBERT RODRIGUEZ'S EL REY NETWORK PARTNER TO BRING ACTION-PACKED LUCHA LIBRE WRESTLING EVENTS AND NEW LEAGUE TO THE U.S.
Weekly Lucha Libre Series to Premiere on El Rey Network in 2014 as the Foundation of a New Sports Entertainment Business
Pasadena – January 12, 2014 – It was announced today that Emmy Award(R)-winning producer Mark Burnett has partnered with visionary film director Robert Rodriguez's El Rey Network to create a new sports business in the U.S. featuring high-flying lucha libre wrestling.
The business begins with a weekly one-hour series featuring a new lucha libre league, premiering on El Rey Network the second half of 2014. Burnett's One Three Media is partnering with the leading lucha libre league in Mexico, Lucha Libre AAA, and FactoryMade Ventures. Also joining, through their interests in Lucha Libre AAA, are Antonio Cue Sanchez-Navarro and Latinoamerica's largest production group, Alex Garcia's AG Studios.
In Mexico, lucha libre is hugely successful, rating behind only soccer as the most popular sport on television. "Starting this business with a new television series on a cutting-edge network like El Rey is very exciting," Burnett said. "And it doesn't end there. Wrestling is a billion-dollar business in the U.S., and with partners like Robert Rodriguez, Lucha Libre AAA and the rest of our great team, our new lucha libre league will make that market even bigger."
Robert Rodriguez, El Rey Network's Founder and Chairman, said: "El Rey Network is all about the unexpected which is why this is the perfect partnership. Our association with Lucha Libre AAA, FactoryMade and Mark Burnett's One Three Media speaks to our commitment to create content that resonates for a culturally diverse generation – one that expects high impact and excitement from their entertainment programming."
In addition to launching the weekly series, the new venture is developing monthly and quarterly specials and live pay-per-view lucha libre events, and also pursuing merchandise, licensing and product integration opportunities for The League. Lucha libre marks a return to arena-based sports events for the award-winning Burnett, who previously produced five seasons of the unscripted boxing series "The Contender". Burnett and One Three are also widely known for programs like "The Voice," "Survivor" and the hit event miniseries "The Bible."
The venture has engaged Starlight Runner Entertainment, the NY-based production company, to leverage its transmedia expertise in building an exciting, multi-platform world of heroes, villains and spectacle. "My partner Mark Pensavalle and I have been fans of Lucha Libre since we were kids," said Jeff Gomez, CEO of Starlight Runner Entertainment. "The opportunity to help develop a heroic, fully participative transmedia world that innovates and extends AAA is a dream come true for us."
In addition to Burnett and One Three Media, El Rey Network's weekly series will also be executive produced by Rodriguez and by FactoryMade and El Rey co-founders John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa. One Three Media's chief operating officer Brian Edwards will join the venture's board with current board members Dorian Roldan from Lucha Libre AAA, Cue Sanchez-Navarro, and Fogelman and Patwa.