by Scott Petersen
DSE, Pride, held a press conference in Tokyo to proclaim their relationship with Fox Sports Network. Pride and FSN started negotiations just 4 months ago to show Pride Championship fights on FSN. They are showing Pride fights on Sunday nights at 9pm during primetime. And then the show will be replayed 4-5 times during the rest of the week, and some regions up to 9 times. The fights will be played across all 20+ regions across the country on FSN.
FSN reaches 80 million homes and programming consists of baseball, NBA basketball, boxing(which they claim to have the best boxing coverage on air) and they are adding Mixed Martial Arts. George Greenburg from FSN said,” I wanted us to have another sporting package that would be complimentary to boxing, it needed to be … exciting, dynamic, but most of all it had to be the wave of the future.” Greenburg believes that this is the wave of the future. He said,” I’ve been to World series, I’ve been to Superbowls, NBA Championships, but what I saw last night was unlike any sporting event I’ve seen before.”
George Greenburg has a lot of respect for the athletes of MMA, too. Saying,” In a day and age, where many athletes complain about the slightest bit of discomfort, and how poor management treats them as they make hundreds of millions of dollars. It was humbling for me to watch the warriors get into the ring last night and perform as courageously as they did.”
The first airing of Pride’s fights on Fox Sports Network did a .5 rating, airing in 70,000 homes. FSN was pleased with that number and are standing behind Pride, Greenburg saying,” …we’re going to help brand Pride on FSN and use this show as a feeder for information to all of our sports viewers.”
When asked about the UFC, Greenburg answered,” I look at all television as competition… there’s plenty of room in our 500 channel universe for UFC to co-exist with Pride, but I will tell you this. …I know what I saw last night was unlike any show I’ve ever seen before…”