Report: Showtime Executive Expects MMA Programming to Continue
By FCF Staff
With 2012 nearing the midway point, speculation has begun once again as to what the future holds for Strikeforce, and whether the Zuffa promotion will continue to air events on Showtime next year.
After Strikeforce was acquired by the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s parent company, many observers questioned what the promotion’s schedule and profile would look like this year, only to see it return on Showtime for another run.
In a recent interview with Sherdog.com, Showtime Sports Executive Vice President and General Manager Stephen Espinoza spoke about the future of MMA on the network, and how the company’s relationship with Zuffa is going.
Espinoza relayed that Showtime is committed to MMA by stating:
“I fully expect to have mixed martial arts on Showtime next year. I hope it is Strikeforce as well as possibly supplemented by other organizations. We’re still in sort of the learning and adjusting and sort of transforming stages of our relationship with Zuffa in terms of how we both configure our businesses and how we both adjust to the new constraints of the relationship. I can’t speak definitively, but I think after a little bit of a bumpy start, I think we’re fully on track.”
The executive added that he believes Showtime, Zuffa and UFC President Dana White are working well together, despite White’s criticisms of the network in the past. Espinoza added that the UFC’s broadcasting deal with FOX may need to be reviewed between seasons, before any crossover fights between the former and Strikeforce can materialize.
Strikeforce’s next event takes place on July 14th and will feature a middleweight bout between champion Luke Rockhold and Tim Kennedy in the main event.
The card will be broadcast on Showtime.