(Well, that’s *one* way to hype a marquee WMMA fight, we guess.)
When Showtime ended their relationship with Strikeforce this past January, they left behind a massive void in the MMA world that has been tirelessly documented in the time since by…next to no one, quite honestly. Sure, we all loved Strikeforce when it wasn’t moments away from descending into utter chaos (and even when it was), but with the UFC holding an event on 1 of its 14 channels every other week and Bellator quietly putting on smaller-level shows in between, it seems as if we’ve quickly forgotten about Showtime’s once quintessential role in MMA broadcasting.
Well, it appears as if all that could change in the near future, as Showtime Sports Executive Vice President and General Manager Stephen Espinoza recently told FOX News Latino that the network was interested in a return to the MMA world and specifically, a partnership with Invicta FC. This statement did not come without a bit of hesitance, though:
The hesitation right now is really we’re investigating the market. The real question is … given the TV landscape as it stands now, the MMA landscape, is there a demand for more MMA on television? I have my doubts because there’s quite a few hours already being programmed.
(Invicta) knows how to make noise and do good-sized events on a budget. It would be interesting to see what they can do on a bigger platform.
A move to Showtime would be the perfect move for Invicta to say the least. The promotion has rapidly gained popularity over the course of their first handful of events to the point that the Invicta 4 online stream crashed due to overcrowding.
The fact that Invicta is already moving forward with an actual PPV broadcast for their next event seems to indicate that all women’s fight league is only on the rise, although we imagine that the Showtime execs will be keeping a close eye on the buy numbers for Invicta 6 before moving forward. Because that’s what corporations do: They study the sheeple, then they sell them a product they can’t resist, and before you know it…Rollerball.
In either case, Invicta President Shannon Knapp told MMAJunkie over the weekend that she would welcome the partnership with open arms:
It’s an honor to hear Stephen speak so highly of the Invicta FC product. I’ve worked with Showtime at length at different stages in my career in the MMA business, so I know how talented and committed to success their team is. They are first-rate at what they do, and I feel that a partnership between Showtime and Invicta FC would be a game-changer for our brand and women’s MMA.
Beware the phrase “game-changer,” Shannon. It. Can. Backfire.