Strikeforce is quickly putting the pieces together for its next year of MMA programming on Showtime and CBS. It’s been a frantic month for CEO Scott Coker and his small staff as they zero in on dates, venues, and fighters for a possible 16 shows over the next 12 months.
So far, one show is nearly booked, “Shamrock vs. Diaz,” which hits the promotion’s home base at HP Pavilion on April 11. All but two of the event’s main card bouts have been revealed, with a source indicating that former EliteXC middleweight champ Robbie Lawler will fight on the card against an unnamed opponent, and terror Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, who also remains without an opponent.
With up to 48 shows to book, that’s a lot of work. But according to another source with knowledge of the negotiations between Strikeforce, ProElite, Showtime, and CBS, the deal will prove very lucrative to the San Jose, Calif. promotion.
The source, who chose to remain anonymous, said Strikeforce stands to make $25 million dollars in license fees over the course of its three-year deal with the broadcast network and its premium channel sibling.
A portion of that revenue, first disclosed by an SEC filing by ProElite on Feb. 11 and, according to the source, put in the neighborhood of five percent, will be paid to ProElite Inc. as consideration for the sale of its assets to Strikeforce. The total revenue coming into ProElite coffers could total up to $1.25 million.
Since the sale, the Los Angeles-based company has been mostly silent about its future in MMA promotion. CEO Chuck Champion told SI.com that the company had an existing TV deal with Fox Sports, and planned to nurture its relationship with the remaining active promotion under its umbrella, King of the Cage. But how that relationship would develop, and what shape the restructured company would take, remained unclear.
On March 12, Strikeforce and Showtime will trumpet the upcoming San Jose show with a media day featuring its executives and athletes.