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Showtime plans to keep promoting MMA despite problems with Strikeforce

This weekend might mark the final Strikeforce event on Showtime after more than a four-year relationship between the two but fans can count on it not being the last time MMA shows up on the channel. Though specifics are still sketchy at this point, Showtime’s VP in charge of sports programming Stephen Espinoza recently confirmed the company was already looking at other promotions to bring on board in 2013.

“We had the option of moving forward (with Strikeforce). We decided not to exercise that option,” said Espinoza to MMAJunkie, making it clear Showtime’s interest in MMA remains. “We are actively looking for other opportunities. (We) haven’t found the right opportunity yet, but we are definitely looking for the next relationship in the MMA space.”

Organizations thought to be in the running at this point include XFC, Legacy FC, Shark Fights, and Invicta FC.

Strikeforce made its Showtime debut on March 29, 2008, going on to promote more than 45 shows through the broadcaster. However, the relationship fell apart shortly after Zuffa’s purchase of Strikeforce based on an inability to retain the services of top fighters or build any significant depth.


  • Rece Rock says:

    I hope they stay away from invicta… they are running a great promotion and I fear Showtime will only do them harm.

  • G-DUB says:

    RR … I’m not understanding your fear of Showtime harming up-and-coming promotions. IMO, Showtime’s done an excellent job of propelling Elite XC and Strikeforce to new heights. Like them or not, their announcing team is professional and well-versed in the intricacies of MMA combat and history. Their production value is superb and their shows have generally delivered. Why would you blame Showtime for the demise of either organization? It’s likely they had little to do with it.
    I actually look at it the other way around. I don’t think Invicta is at a level of relevance where Showtime would take interest in pursuing a tv contract. Showtime is about subscriptions and I highly doubt Invicta has the subscription drawing power that a Strikeforce has or had. At this time, there really isn’t another organization out there that is a good fit, but certainly Invicta is not ready.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I think Showtime is getting a lot of hate recently because of the last two SF show’s they said they wouldn’t air unless a certain fighter was the main event.

  • Angry Mike says:

    If Showtime makes a deal with any or all of those org.’s, I support it so long as the deal ensures that the org. or org.’s are more visible rather than less visible. If any deal results in fewer cards for any of the org.’s, the hell with it. More televised fights means more growth in the sport, and that’s what it’s all about for long-time fans.


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