(Gary Shaw: “The soup, salad, and breadsticks are on me.”)
Following in the footsteps of the floundering International Fight League, ProElite released its 10-K annual report last week, which revealed that even though EliteXC’s CBS deal might turn their fortunes around, things are still tough all over in the MMA world. Some highlights:
— ProElite has lost $31.3 million through 2007, including $27.1 million in 2007 alone.
— The company generated $5.3 million in revenue last year, including $4.6 million in live gate revenue and $447,679 in television and pay-per-view revenue.
— ProElite spent $9.6 million on events in 2007, including $2.9 million in production costs paid to Showtime. The company actually received no license fee from Showtime last year and absorbed all the production costs. ProElite will be receiving a licensing fee this year, however, reported to be between $50,000 (for ShowXC events) up to $500,000 (for major events).
— ProElite.com cost the company $3.3 million in 2007, while generating only $68,782 in revenue. Lesson: Social networking may be the hip trend these days, but good luck making a buck with it if your name isn’t Facebook or MySpace.
— EliteXC live events prez Gary Shaw earned $435,724 last year, $78 of which went to his wardrobe.
— As with the IFL, ProElite’s auditors have expressed “substantial doubt” about the company’s ability to sustain operations at this rate of financial loss.
So, ProElite didn’t earn a cent from Showtime for licensing last year, and the “Strikeforce on NBC” deal is a straight-up infomercial-style time buy. It may have seemed strange that these smaller leagues beat the UFC to network television, but when Dana White says “we’re not going to sign any deals that don’t make sense,” this is pretty much what he’s referring to.