While a deal to bring mixed martial arts back to CBS has been strongly rumored ever since last week’s acquisition by Strikeforce of select ProElite assets, an official announcement about a marriage between the San Jose-based fighter promotion and the “Tiffany Network” has yet to be formally announced.
Soon after Strikeforce announced that a deal had been reached with ProElite, premium-based cable provider Showtime issued a press release that it was going into business with Strikeforce. However, such a release to hail an agreement between CBS and Strikeforce has yet to be made, creating some uncertainty.
However, that uncertainty was eliminated following a recent blog post by CBSSports.com MMA Producer Denny Burkholder, who interviewed a CBS spokesperson regarding the matter.
“We have an option to broadcast Strikeforce events on CBS, but the plan is for Showtime to be the main outlet,” Chris Ender, a spokesperson for CBS Corporation, the parent company of CBS and Showtime, told Burkholder.
And in a recent interview with CBSSports.com, Strikeforce Founder and CEO Scott Coker also confirmed that the promotion will be airing shows on CBS.
Well, I can tell you this,” Coker began to respond, “Obviously there is confidentiality in all of the contracts we’ve signed so I can’t tell you the details. But I can tell you that there is a CBS contract in place.”
When asked about a timetable for Strikeforce’s debut on CBS, Coker indicated that many details about the partnership between the companies still have yet to be worked out.
“Because this deal went down in such a quick fashion, to tell you the truth, last Monday leading into transition and acquisition of ProElite I still had doubts in my mind as to whether this was really going to go down or not,” responded Coker when asked about a debut date. “It was on; it was off; it was on; it was off. It was like a roller coaster. And my lawyer says, ‘Look, I really think this is going to happen.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, right. When it happens, give me a call. Alright?’
“So they finished all of the negotiating and when it came down, it happened so fast and really the three entities, we all haven’t had a chance to sit down. We plan to do that at the end of this month in New York and plan out the year so I could probably have more information for you at the beginning of March.”