I’ve wanted to mention the fact that the IFL had hired former Showtime executive Jay Larkin for a few days, and now this new interview by Sam Caplan has popped up to give me an excuse.
First off, Jay Larkin is one of the big boxing guys. He doesn’t have the same name recognition as a Gary Shaw or Don King, but he was the guy running boxing at Showtime for over a decade and while he never managed to beat HBO out for the biggest fights, many people considered Showtime to put on the better fights. So you gotta respect that.
Now Jay is coming on board the IFL. The IFL of course is up shit creek without a paddle. Their stock is tanking, their coffers are running dangerously low, and the only star fighters they managed to develop this year are looking to jump ship. It will definately be interesting to see what Larkin can do with this whole situation, or better yet to see what Larkin does to completely change the situation and therefore the direction of the IFL.
One thing for sure though is you’re probably not gonna see any more dopey interviews with the Dumb and Dumber duo of Kurt Otto and Gareb Shemus. Now that the IFL has someone who’s public relations skills were forged in the flames of the treacherous boxing world, you better bet they’re gonna use him, and use him a lot. Just check out some of the shit this guy is already spinning:
On the financial state of the company:
The major financial hurdles are not quite as major as some folks in the industry would like the rest of the world to believe. This company is a year and a half old and in a year and a half we’ve accomplished astounding things. If you lack back in history at other MMA companies, one in particular, look where they were a year and a half in and how much money they were in debt and (in comparison) this company (the IFL) is a major success story.
Obviously Jay’s talking about the UFC. The difference here of course is that the UFC is owned by Casino magnates with deep pockets, while the IFL made the decision to go the penny stock route.
On the state of the IFL’s TV deals in 2008
Yes, there’s a deal for 2008 in place. It’s in various stages of going through the lawyers and it’s being reviewed here. Being a TV guy, I want to take a hard look at the existing television deals. But there’s definitely a television deal for 2008 that’s in place.
I like how he says there’s a deal in place then says he’s taking a hard look at the deals that are ‘in place’. Last time I checked, in place means done. Not getting there. Everything’s in place for me to get off on that stupid indecent exposure charge. It’s just gotta go through those pesky lawyers.
On the direction he wants to take the IFL:
We’re also getting ready to make inroads in the pay-per-view world. In my opinion we’re not ready for the pay-per-view world because we don’t have those names that are going to jump out at you. It doesn’t mean we’re not going to get them and it doesn’t mean we’re not going to develop them. But (PPV) is definitely the road we’re heading down.
Wow, what an original idea. Put together fights, show them on PPV. Revolutionary. With outside the box ideas like this, the IFL is sure to succeed.
So at the moment, I’m not seeing anything on the surface to tell me Larkin’s gonna turn shit around for the IFL, but my bet is Jay’s got his head under the hood looking at how everything works in the IFL. The problem is that 99% of the solutions to fix the IFL will require a lot of money and a lot of luck, one of which the IFL definitely doesn’t have and the other … well, if Kurt and Otto had horseshoes up their asses they sold them for money to keep the IFL running. Maybe Larkin’s got an extra one up his rectum to share.