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Tag: Showtime

Exclusive: ProElite On the Verge of a New Broadcast Deal With CBS and Showtime

(It will be interesting to see how Viacom’s vested interest in the company will translate into its promotion of ProElite)

By Mike Russell

It looks like the proclamation UFC president Dana White made a few months ago that CBS will likely go head-to-head with his promotion again in the near future was right on the money.

Sources close to the promotion that was recently brought back from the verge of death by Stratus Media Group, who acquired a 95 percent ownership stake of the company in June, have informed that ProElite is in the final stages of negotiations for a multi-year television deal with Viacom that will see its events broadcast on both Showtime and CBS starting in the first quarter of 2012.


‘Mayhem’ Miller on Getting Banned from TV: ‘It’s Not the First Place I’ve Been 86′d From’

(How many muppets must die for Jason Miller to dress in the manner to which he’s become accustomed? Pic: ESPN)

Truly spoken like a dude who’s used to being asked to leave. Some pretty classic quotes out on Tuesday from fighter, television host and all-purpose awesome dude Jason “Mayhem” Miller re: recent reports that Strikeforce literally couldn’t find him a fight during the last year of his contract because he’d become persona non grata at both Showtime and parent network CBS. Turns out, though he knew he was in hot water after his participation in the April, 2010 Nashville brawl, nobody at any of the above corporate entities bothered to inform Mayhem that he was no longer welcome on the two television stations and – therefore – damaged goods for Strikeforce. Instead, they just put him on the shelf to rot.

“I asked, and guess what? Nobody would tell me,” Miller told MMA Fighting. “This is a political environment. Nobody’s going to tell you. They’re just going to be cowards about it. That’s the way of the world. Nobody’s going to tell the crazy ultimate fighter guy to his face, ‘Hey, screw you.’ They’re not going to do that.”


M-1 Challenge: Not The Sh*t Show We Expected

There may be photos from the fights out there, but who cares?

Last night, Norfolk, VA played home to M-1 Global’s first solo endeavor on Showtime. Many fans look upon M-1 as nothing more than a small stain on the MMA landscape, like that thing on Gorbachev’s head. But there’s no need to rehash any of M-1’s previous dealings and maneuvers, as we now have an actual body of work to dissect and discuss. This event marked their first notable attempt to make a splash in North American MMA alone. No Fedor, no Strikeforce, no co-promotion. No one to blame for their shortcomings and no one to steal credit for their success.

With Zuffa’s purchase of Strikeforce, there’s a surplus of promotions striving to claim the #2 spot in the MMA food chain. So was this M-1’s Sputnik moment, or more of a Chernobyl style disaster? Am I done with these terrible Russian analogies? Keep reading to find out.


Strikeforce Chopping Block: Who’s Getting Cut When The Dust Settles?

“Konichiwa, bitches!”

There are a lot of things we’ve come to know about Dana White over the years. He loves his Pink Berry. He relieves stress by pulling mediocre pranks on his subordinates. He’s an astute, cut throat businessman. And he holds a grudge like a mother fucker. It’s these last two traits that we’ll be examining at this time. With the UFC’s latest acquisition, Dana is in the position of working directly with many of the folks he’s either banned from the UFC or burned bridges with when attempts to work with them didn’t pan out. Aside from the recent legal quandary surrounding Roy Nelson’s employment, Zuffa has proven through aggressive litigation and hard ball negotiation that they know their way around a contract. This makes it very likely that Dana will do just as he says in honoring all current Strikeforce related contracts.

But virtually all contracts come to an end at some point, and when Strikeforce’s agreements reach their expiration date it’s a whole new ballgame. Some Strikeforce staples, such as open, non-exclusive contracts and event co-promotion are sure to disappear. The same is certain for many of the organization’s familiar faces, both in front of the camera and in the cage. Despite Dana’s vindictive nature, he didn’t get where he is today by letting hard feelings get in the way of good business. Let’s take a closer look at who’s on the chopping block when the legal obligations dissolve and Dana is wielding the axe.


Saturday’s Strikeforce Viewership Drops More Than 40% from Last Showtime Broadcast in January

(Both Coker and White received news of the ratings at exactly the same time)

According to a report by Saturday night’s Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery event, that featured a main event title fight between champion Alistair Overeem and contender Brett Rogers broadcast on Showtime drew 40.43 percent fewer viewers than the Strikeforce: Miami show that was presented by the network in January. 

To put into perspective how bad the ratings for the show are, last weekend’s broadcast netted 308,000 Showtime subscribers, while the UFC’s Spike TV broadcasted counter-programming initiative, UFC’s Ultimate Fights, was seen by 894,000 viewers.

No matter how you slice it, things aren’t looking good for Strikeforce, especially if they eventually do reach out to CBS to plead their case to have another show broadcast on the cable network.


‘Strikeforce: Miami’ — Live Results + Commentary

Cris Cyborg Cristiane Santos Marloes Coenen Strikeforce Miami weigh-ins
("Nice flower-tattoo, cupcake. I just got a tattoo of the Virgin Mary being ripped apart by pitbulls, directly on my asshole." / Photo courtesy of Strikeforce. More pics are below, including one of an alarmingly fat Wes Sims.)
Marius Zaromskis Nick Diaz Strikeforce Miami MMARobbie Lawler Melvin Manhoef Strikeforce Miami MMABobby Lashley Wes Sims Strikeforce Miami MMAHerschel Walker Greg Nagy Strikeforce Miami fight MMA photos

Tonight’s Strikeforce event at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida (aka "Miami") has such a fantastic mix of high-level MMA and can’t-look-away freak shows. On the top of the card you’ve got Nick Diaz battling for Strikeforce’s vacant welterweight title against head-kickin’ rising star Marius Zaromskis, while 145-pound lady-champ Cristiane "Cris Cyborg" Santos makes her first belt defense against Dutch submission artist Marloes Coenen. On the other end of the card, 47-year-old former football star Herschel Walker will kick off his cage-fighting career against Greg Nagy, while Wes Sims — who owns the physique of a 47-year-old — will do his best to avoid getting squashed by pro-wrestler Bobby Lashley. And somewhere in-between, Robbie "Brawler" Lawler and Melvin "Man-Hoof" Manhoef will launch leather at each other until one of them can no longer intelligently defend himself. If you’re not excited for this card, then you probably don’t use words like "excited" in general. Live results from the Showtime broadcast will be piling up after the jump, starting at 10 p.m. ET. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest.

Update: Dubus22 wins the t-shirt! Please send your name, address, and size to


Heads Up — ‘Fight Camp 360: Fedor vs. Rogers’ Premieres Tonight on Showtime


With Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers just five days away, Showtime is spreading the word with an episode of their new half-hour hype-series, Fight Camp 360; the Fedor/Rogers installment debuts tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT, so set your DVRs now. As you can see from the preview clip above, Emelianenko is being presented as a living embodiment of "fear of the unknown" — an immortal of MMA with no apparent weaknesses — while Brett Rogers is the man of little fear and great faith, who can create his own legend with a win on Saturday.

Fight Camp 360 will take viewers inside the training camps of both fighters, from Fedor’s remote compound in Stary Oskol, to Rogers’s home base in Minnesota. For a better idea of what you’ll be seeing tonight, check out MMA Fanhouse’s detailed recap of the show, and MMA Junkie’s exclusive photo set from Emelianenko’s camp (warning: shirtless Jerry Millen). Replay times are after the jump…


Showtime Ramps Up Strikeforce Promotion With ‘Fight Camp 360′

(The latest Fedor/Rogers video promo, courtesy of Props to MMA Fanhouse for the tip.)

Just as HBO uses the 24/7 series to plug notable boxing matches, Showtime has launched its own behind-the-scenes hype series with Fight Camp 360, which debuted October 10th with a profile on the Super Six World Boxing Classic. But 360 won’t be limited to just boxing. According to Brett Rogers, Showtime is preparing an episode of the show to promote Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers, slated to air about a week before their November 7th fight.

Of course, that event will air on CBS, not Showtime. But Showtime is owned by CBS Corporation, and it’s the network outlet for most of Strikeforce’s events, so it’s in their best interest to pitch in with the promotional effort, which has taken a while to warm up. But hey, better late than never — and it’s great to see MMA fighters start to get the "all-access" treatment before big fights. Though if you’re one of the Showtime video producers who has to fly to Stary Oskol and freeze your ass off while shooting some B-roll of a new swingset being installed at Fedor’s training facility, our condolences…


Strikeforce Doing Serious Work For June Event, Son

Nick Diaz
(The hazy glow in this picture can only mean one thing: we’ve stumbled into one of Nick Diaz’s dream sequences again.)

Strikeforce’s June 6 show is already shaping up to be as good or better than their debut on Showtime earlier this month.  In addition to the Jake Shields vs. Robbie Lawler main event, they’ve gotten verbal agreements from Nick Diaz and Scott Smith to face each other in a 180-pound bout.  Apparently the extra weight felt good on Diaz as he smashed Frank Shamrock’s face all to hell, which is a good thing since he’ll be taking on a guy in Smith who can definitely take a shot.  


“Shamrock vs. Diaz” Pulls in 364k Viewers, Which Is Good News, Apparently

(Cheer up buddy, that’s like one viewer for every dollar you made! Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)

According to new viewership figures dug up by FightTicker, Showtime’s broadcast of "Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz" pulled in 364,000 average viewers on Saturday night, for an average rating of 0.64. While that may sound piss-poor, considering the UFC drew 1.9 million viewers (and an avg. rating of 1.4) for their replay of UFC 94 on Spike TV the same night, there is a silver lining.

First off, that 364,000 figure makes "Shamrock vs. Diaz" the third most-watched MMA event in Showtime history, putting it just behind Strikeforce’s "Shamrock vs. Baroni" event in June 2007 (which hangs on to its #2 spot with 365,000 viewers) and the Kimbo Slice-headlined "EliteXC: Street Certified" in February 2008 (which scored 511,000 viewers). Plus, you have to take into consideration the fact that Spike TV is available in six times as many homes as Showtime. And still, Strikeforce’s 1.53 rating among men aged 18-34 actually beat UFC 94′s rating in that category (1.3).

I’m not an expert in this stuff, but that seems like a decent starting point for Strikeforce 2.0. No, they’re not ready to throw together pay-per-view events, but they managed to make a good showing with a card headlined by a non-title fight involving one guy who was coming off a loss. The event itself was entertaining enough to hook most viewers into coming back for the next installment. Can June’s "Lawler vs. Shields" show keep the momentum rolling — or will it be a ratings disappointment without a big name like "Shamrock" to draw casual viewers?