by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
The International Fight League on Tuesday announced that its broadcast television partner MyNetworkTV would air one hour of the IFL’s World Grand Prix semi-finals live on Nov. 3 in prime time on broadcast television. The show is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. CT/MT).
“This is a historic announcement for the sport and another step forward for our brand,” stated IFL CEO Gareb Shamus. “MyNetworkTV has been a great partner for us, and we are very excited to again bring the sport live on prime time.”
That’s not to say that this is an ongoing commitment from MyNetworkTV, although the IFL is working to air the Dec. 29 finals of the Grand Prix on live television as well.
IFL Commissioner Kurt Otto said, “We have a commitment from MyNetwork to air Nov. 3 in Chicago live and we’re just kind of [working] out the kinks for Dec. 29. That’s not in stone, but we’re very optimistic about the 29th as well.”
Otto indicated that part of the strategy of the one-hour live special in November is also preparation for the possibility of airing 2008 season events live, a strategical move to help the IFL compete in the flourishing MMA market.
“It’s awesome for us to go live for the World Grand Prix and show that we can put together an unbelievable one-hour show live and prove that we have the goods to do it, and set the tone for the possibility of ’08 to go live.
“Our plans are to go live, otherwise it’s going to be a little bit more challenging to compete on the level that we need to compete on.”