by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
On the heels of ProElite’s announcement that its EliteXC promotion will have a presence on the CBS Television Network, the Strikeforce promotion apparently has struck a deal to air on NBC, according to an MMAJunkie.com report citing sources close to the deal.
Unlike the CBS deal, which will air at least four live EliteXC events per year in prime time on Saturday nights, Strikeforce’s reported deal with NBC is a highlight show that would likely air late night on Saturday night or early Sunday morning following “Saturday Night Live.”
NBC has long been rumored to be in talks with several mixed martial arts promotions to bring the sport to its network, but most insiders indicated that the terms set forth by the network were not very appealing to most of the promotions involved.
That is likely the reason that talks with the Ultimate Fighting Championship and parent company Zuffa, LLC reportedly never progressed far into the negotiating process with NBC. UFC president Dana White has often said that he would not pursue a television deal that didn’t make sense according to Zuffa’s terms.
With both UFC Unleashed on Spike TV and the syndicated UFC Wired shows primarily focusing on pre-recorded fights, the UFC was not likely interested in pursuing another “highlights” type of telecast.
The deal may make more sense for Strikeforce, however, as the promotion has just started to venture outside of its home base of California. The national exposure provided, even in a late-night time slot, on a major broadcast network like NBC could be used an effective marketing tool as the promotion continues to expand its territory.
Strikeforce officials were unavailable for comment at the time of publication.