From everything I’ve read about the Strikeforce sale, Showtime is the one who’s come home to it’s girlfriend to find her demanding a threesome with some strange guy she’s currently blowing. Everything regarding ‘business as usual’? Because of the way Strikeforce’s TV deal is structured with Showtime. No fighter swapping till contracts end? Again, because of Showtime’s involvement. Mike Chiapetta lays things out:
According to published reports, the Showtime-Strikeforce deal goes into 2012 [There have been reports of it possibly lasting until 2014 – FL]. Until then, there are several more events to be run under the Strikeforce brand on the Showtime channel. Those shows have to be populated and run under the terms of the current deal, which puts Showtime in control of the event production. Showtime also has some influence on the Strikeforce event matchmaking. All of that means it’s likely all Strikeforce hands on Showtime’s deck until terms of the deal run out or can be renegotiated. All of that also means that the next few months are absolutely critical in terms of determining whether or not Zuffa can build a working relationship with Showtime or the two sides cut ties.
It will be interesting to see how all this shakes out – will Zuffa work hard to bring Showtime completely on board so we can get rid of this two league nonsense before the Strikeforce broadcast deal is up in a few years? Or will they start gutting the organization the moment Showtime Sports insists upon continuing with their particular brand of Emmy Award winning incompetence?
It could be that both above possibilities happen. After all, Zuffa said they were going to run PRIDE as PRIDE right up until their man in Japan changed the locks on the office doors six months later and told former DSE employees to clear the fuck out in an hour. For legal purposes, it’s always best to work towards the best but be prepared for the worst.
Funny enough, in this situation there’s several reasons for fans to kinda hope that shit hits the fan rather than work out. A Showtime deal (and who knows, maybe a CBS deal through Showtime) is a sweet plum indeed. But when it comes down to it, the real money for Zuffa is in PPV and you’ve got oodles of PPV buys in fights involving Strikeforce guys fighting in the UFC. Who knows what the bankability of said fights will be a few years down the road?