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ProElite’s license suspended by CSAC; company could challenge Showtime’s auction

A report by the Media Daily News indicates that the remaining staff of ProElite, the parent company of EliteXC, intends to mount a legal challenge against Showtime, which intends to auction off the company’s assets to the highest bidders during a planned public auction in Los Angeles on Nov. 17.

“With Showtime primed to sell its assets, a mixed martial arts promoter isn’t going down without a fight. ProElite, which has aired MMA matches on the pay cable network, said Thursday that it plans to block the public auction,” the Media Daily News report states.

Showtime’s position is that it can take possession of ProElite’s assets due to the company defaulting on approximately $4 million in loans (and a total debt of $6.3 million) it received from Showtime and has failed to pay back in a timely fashion. At the time of the loans, ProElite had to agree to various conditions that it had to remain in compliance with, one of which was that it could not have less than $550,000 in liquid funds in an account with a major national bank. It’s believed that Showtime wants to sell of ProElite’s assets in order to recoup some of the money it loaned out.

Despite laying off the vast majority of its employees on Oct. 20 and canceling a planned event for Nov. 8 in Reno, Nevada, it appears ProElite still has its sights on continuing as a company. At the time of the cancellation, then-EliteXC Manager of Fight Operations J.T. Steele notified Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer that the company was not only cancelling the Nov. 8 event, but that it would also be shutting down operations. Many ex-employees have also indicated to FiveOuncesOfPain.com that that they had been told by ProElite’s upper management that they would be filing for bankruptcy. However, it’s now two and a half weeks later and formal bankruptcy papers have not been submitted to the courts.

Caught in a state of limbo, several major managers representing some of the company’s top fighters have tried to escape their EliteXC contracts by citing a material breach of a clause titled “Article 47” and exercising “Article 43” in the contract, which gives ProElite 30 days to cure the breach. ProElite has offered its cure of the breach by informing several managers and fighters that they have every intention of promoting events in 2009.

The report of ProElite continuing as a company was initially met with great skepticism but FiveOuncesOfPain.com has spoken with several sources in recent days that have revealed that ProElite has formulated a plan to promote shows again as a restructured company. According to the sources, ProElite executives have even gone so far as to suggest that CBS has pledged millions of dollars in rights fees to the company should it resume shows.

Despite ProElite’s signaled intentions to continue, it remains to be seen just how realistic those intentions are. FiveOuncesOfPain.com contacted sources within CBS and Showtime who, speaking on the condition of anonymity, dismissed any possibility of CBS ever doing business again with ProElite. MMAPayout.com’s Robert Joyner also broke the news on Thursday that the California State Athletic Commission has suspended the company’s promotional license.

Sources indicate that tensions between ProElite and CBS/Showtime have existed for quite some time and have gone past a boiling point in recent weeks. It is believed that the companies are diametrically opposed on several major legal positions and that litigation is probable.

5 COMMENTS
  • JoHn says:

    they should have sined a DNR agreement, do no rescitate. just die already so the fighters can move on to fight in better organizations.

  • JoHn says:

    sorry i meant Resuscitate

  • gygax says:

    Once again ProElite/EliteXC is completely screwing the fighters by holding them in limbo.

    They claim that they will give permission for guys to accept fights in smaller orgs on a single fight basis, but its impossible for any of the fighter’s managers to get a hold of someone in charge at EXC.

  • Davey D says:

    What a disgrace. PE/EXC and Showtime need to stop holding their fighter’s hostage. There are so many issues at hand that it’s not even funny. EVERY DAY, we hear a new story about how bad this org screwed up. The fighter’s are waiting to know when they can ply their trade again. There has to be some reslove before the year is up…WTF guys???

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    It will be over this year, and probably this month, if ProElite is in arrears under its agreement with ShoTime. Most commercial agreements allow the secured party to seize and sell the collateral that secures the loan, and it sounds as if that’s what ShoTime did.

    ProElite can go to court and ask for an injunction to halt the auction, but it will have prove that it is likely to win the underlying dispute to get the injunction. Moreover, many states require the party who wants the injunction to post a bond that corresponds to the amount in dispute which the other side can attach if it ultimately prevails. Bonding companies are very cautious, so if ProElite’s financials look bad, it may not be able to purchase the necessary bond. If there’s any truth to the reports about ProElite’s financial condition, it’s blowing smoke.

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