This weekend Stephen Espinoza, sports general manager for “Showtime”, let it drop to “Fox News Latino” that “we’d like to get back in the MMA business” and that it’s “possible” that they might be interested in striking a deal with the all-female MMA promotion, Invicta FC.
As we all know, Showtime used to be the home of Strikeforce and some pretty decent events, however, when the promotion was purchased by its largest competitor (the UFC) it lasted only 21 months past the date and was subsequently made defunct in January of this year.
In the ensuing 6 months Showtime has apparently been mulling over its MMA options and has landed on Invicta FC as (perhaps) the way to go.
Of Invicta, Espinoza believes that they know “how to make noise and do well sized events on a budget…It would be interesting to see what they can do on a bigger platform.”
However, Espinoza hedged his comments by acknowledging that the network was hesitant and wanted to “investigate the market” further, before committing. The Showtime sports executive stated:
“The real question is… given the TV landscape as it stands now, the MMA landscape, is there a demand for more MMA on television? I have my doubts because there are quite a few hours already being programmed.”
The answer to Espinoza’s question might well be in the buy rates for Invicta’s inaugural PPV, which is scheduled for the 13th of this month (Cyborg / Coenen), at Invicta 6. If the event sells well or well enough, then Invicta could easily be on its way to Showtime.
However and without waiting for those buy numbers to come in, one would think that Showtime would already have the answer they seek and regardless of whether or not there are a “few” hours of it on TV, already. Simply put and regarding Invicta FC, the demand seems to be there, further, WMMA has been accepted (generally) by MMA fans and futher still, as I-FC is nothing but WMMA, it would see to be the smart move for Showtime to do a deal.
In my opinion, Showtime would be well severed to align themselves with Invicta FC and in doing so, will be presenting a unique product and one that can actually go toe-to-toe with the UFC’s (own) fledgling women’s bantamweight division.