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Strikeforce lands on NBC

It looks like MMA fever has hit the networks, although we still have to wait and see if said networks will fan the flames of the sport or dose it with medication and wait for it to go away. First EliteXC scored a deal with CBS, and now Strikeforce is headed to NBC:

As part of the NBC deal, fight footage from past Strikeforce events will likely be shown in “highlights” shows, not unlike the Pride Fighting Championships shows that currently air on Fox Sports Net. The first Strikeforce show is expected to air in mid-April.

The program will likely air on late Saturday nights (early Sunday mornings) either immediately after or soon after the hit NBC series, “Saturday Night Live.”

Although unconfirmed, there’s speculation that the deal could possibly lead to live or, at the very least, tape-delayed Strikeforce events airing on NBC. However, other than the weekly highlights show, few other details of the deal are known at the time.

There’s a few questions that need to be asked now:

  • What kind of deal was this? Is Strikeforce basically paying for the TV time just like Bowflex or Jack LaLanne’s Power Juicer, or are they making scratch out of this?
  • What kind of exposure can they hope to get out of this deal, and how will that exposure translate into their bottom line?

The IFL proved that greater exposure doesn’t always equal more profit. Despite the fact that they were on a variety of TV networks for a good chunk of 2007, they still never managed to sell more than 1500 tickets to most of their shows (which is pitiful).

I’m excited about the prospect of Strikeforce on TV, but a few weeks of grim speculation on the fate of the EliteXC/CBS deal has everyone realizing that network TV != instant success. EliteXC has a pretty big challenge ahead of it, and if it wants to succeed it will need the support of it’s network. Strikeforce is in a bit more of a comfortable position where there’s less pressure to succeed, but less upside too. There will be no Bonnar/Griffin moments occuring at 2am to break the company into the mainstream.

  • jaydog

    Do I sense a pattern here? Dana goes and talks to CBS and NBC and they both wind up working with promotions other than the UFC. Maybe it’s Strikeforce and EliteXC who went to great lengths to cockblock Dana (even though it looks like they’re having to pay rather than getting paid thus far in the process). Exposure? Fans and some curious viewers will be setting their DVR and hitting the sack at a reasonable hour.

  • Xavier

    Wow, a slot AFTER Saturday Night Live… so basically we’re looking at a clip show at one AM. Good luck with that.

    This deal is probably ten times worse than the EliteXC deal. Strikeforce is likely paying for access in a time-slot that has never worked out for anything NBC has put there. At least I can say I’ll watch the EliteXC show on CBS… there’s no chance in hell of turning on the TV at one AM to watch a freakin’ clip show.

  • x5BoltMainx

    Why is everyone on other forums talking smack about the UFC not getting on a “major” network? Hello! The UFC is on SPIKE and it’s their biggest draw. Why bite the hand that feeds you? Not to mention they signed Bud & Harley, two very large companies, & their PPV’s sell out. So why should they bend over & let network retards have full control?

  • cingred

    Strikeforce seems to be doing well. They have put on Kickboxing and various martial arts events in San Jose for years. Years. Cung Le was a feature on their ESPN shows back in the day. They know how to stay afloat and they put on great fights. Besides, there are so many awesome up and comers from the bay area, they probably are just looking for this to get ‘em over the top.

  • Xavier

    “Why is everyone on other forums talking smack about the UFC not getting on a “major” network?”

    Because the average MMA fan is an idiot? You type well, you seem to have deductive reasoning. Congratulations, you’ve just achieved two things that 90+% of the MMA community will never have.

    FYI: this is also the answer to any other “why is everyone on the ______ bitching about the UFC doing _______?” question.

  • godzillad

    Something tells me UFC is inches from a deal with FOX that will put them live at 8PM on a Wednesday or something. Dana is rolling his eyes at all these time broker deals.

  • x5BoltMainx

    I want my cookie :P

  • mateo

    “Because the average MMA fan is an idiot?

    Don’t forget to mention that irrational hatred for the UFC is practically encouraged by almost every single MMA internet media writer out there.

  • Xavier

    And most of those MMA internet media writers are idiot MMA fans too. My answer is all-encompassing, that’s the beauty of it.