Strikeforce and Showtime Announce New Multi-Card Deal
By FCF Staff
Just days removed from UFC President Dana White’s recent announcement that fellow Zuffa property Strikeforce and Showtime had reached a new broadcasting deal, the companies involved have made it official.
According to a press release sent out today, Showtime and Strikeforce have reached a new agreement that will bring up to 8 cards to the network in 2012. As part of the new deal, all Strikeforce preliminary bouts will be broadcast now on Showtime Extreme.
No details regarding a time frame for Strikeforce’s upcoming cards–aside from it’s January 7th event– was included.
“Since its advent on Showtimein 2007, live mixed martial arts has always performed well with our subscribers, particularly in the younger demographics,” Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Showtime Sports was quoted saying. “As the one and only premium network in the MMA business, we are proud to renew our commitment to the sport and to our partners at Strikeforce. This agreement ensures that we can continue to deliver the edge-of-your-seat programming that each live MMA event produces in the New Year and beyond.”
The first event to take place as part of the new deal is the aforementioned January 7th card, when Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold will face UFC vet Keith Jardine. The card will be part of Showtime’s nationwide free preview that weekend.
“We’re excited about this renewal with Showtime and I expect to put on some big Strikeforce events next year,” White said. “I never thought I would say this, but I am very much looking forward to building Strikeforce and working very closely with Showtime.”
Today’s official announcement comes after months of speculation as to what the future held for Strikeforce, following it’s purchase by Zuffa earlier in the year. Due to White’s previous and well documented criticisms of Showtime, as well as the departure of several Strikeforce stars to the UFC, doubts spread as to whether a new agreement with the network could be reached.
“Showtime has been a great TV partner for us and we’re happy to renew our agreement with them,” said Strikeforce CEO and founder Scott Coker. “Together, we’ve put on some really amazing events and we’re going to keep doing that with this new deal. We have a great core of talented fighters on our roster and MMA fans are in for a real treat.”
The upcoming January 7th card will be hosted by The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and will also feature “King Mo” Lawal vs. Lorenz Larkin, Tyron Woodley vs. Jordan Mein and Robbie Lawler vs. Adlan Amagov.
Strikeforce’s latest card, and Showtime broadcast, takes place this Saturday in San Diego, when lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez will look to defend against Jorge Masvidal.