So it’s official: ProElite is dead and StandGate killed it. We all know that ProElite was in a bad way for cash and that CBS had to float the boat for their third network TV event. Basically the only chance the company had for survival was to be purchased by CBS/Showtime. Unfortunately the entire Shamrock/Petruzelli/Slice StandGate fiasco and the ensuing investigation turned both companies off. I’m sure the 55 million dollars in debt didn’t help, but from all accounts the investigation was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
However, a second source contacted by MMAjunkie.com Monday night said he believed the questions raised by the incident and the pending investigation into the matter by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation derailed the one outcome that could have saved EliteXC from going under – a purchase of the promotion by Showtime.
EliteXC’s premium cable broadcast partner disclosed in a Sept. 17 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission its intent to enter into negotiations to acquire the promotion.
Despite EliteXC’s public declaration that everything with regard to the Ferguson-Petruzelli fight was handled above board, the source indicated that the incident, along with mounted financial losses, soured Showtime’s interest in a deal. Showtime currently owns approximately 20 percent of EliteXC.
We were all wondering if CBS gave a rat’s ass about the legitimacy of their MMA ‘sports’ product but Showtime on the other hand has very little else other than it’s reputation to stand by, so it’s not surprising that they were troubled by the allegations. They’re also deep in the boxing game and the last thing anyone there would want is to be dragged down by the association of fight fixing. God knows, MMA is probably odious enough to most of the board members there.