Shine Fights has been looking to make some major moves recently including the signing of former “Ultimate Fighter” winner Efrain Escudero to a contract. Now the upstart organization appears on the verge of signing a deal to bring their brand of MMA to cable television.
Shine Fights COO Jason Chambers revealed the news to MMAWeekly.com in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
“For all intents and purposes we’ve come to an agreement,” Chambers said about the new TV deal. “It’s just a matter of dotting the “I”s and crossing the “T”s.”
While Chambers stopped short of naming which network would get the rights for Shine Fights, he did say it was a recognizable name that fans of MMA will be able to access with ease.
“It’s definitely a network that everyone will be familiar with,” Chambers disclosed. “It’s a network that I think is the right size and the right scope for where we are.”
The deal that will see Shine Fights hit free TV will be similar to the current package the UFC runs prior to their pay-per-view offerings.
“We’ll be announcing in the next few weeks who that television partner is, we have a great relationship with them now. We’re going to give them some free content, that’s one of the things I think the UFC has done exceedingly well. They’ve built their pay-per-view model off of the exposure they got off of Spike TV, and they’re able to leverage their branding,” Chambers said.
“What we’re going to be able to do is put some of the amazing fights that we have that wouldn’t necessarily make sense to put on pay-per-view, but they’re still guys with 20, 30 fights, wins over huge names, exciting fighters and you’re going to be able to watch them for free.”
The ambitious promotion has started the planning stages of their first show in 2011 which will feature the debut of Escudero along with the return of Shine Fights lightweight Grand Prix winner, Drew Fickett.
The plan according to Chambers is to have the Shine Fights debut with their new TV deal early next year.
“We plan on doing six pay-per-views next year and all of those undercards will be able to be seen live on cable,” said Chambers.
There has been no word which network is going to land Shine Fights, but with MMA becoming a viable product as shown by the UFC’s success on Spike TV as well as the WEC on Versus, it could be any number of cable stations looking to add fights to their roster.
MMAWeekly will have more information on the Shine Fights TV deal when it becomes available.