“I can’t talk too much about it now, but we’re probably going to announce another broadcast deal pretty soon with a cable network that will do similar to what you’re saying — where you’ll see all our brands in action,” DeLuca said in response to a question about the fight’s promotion’s long-term TV plans.
At the time, DeLuca was unwilling to elaborate on who the potential partner would be. However, it now appears that the mystery network has been revealed. During a press conference last week in Anaheim to promote “Affliction: Banned” on pay-per-view as well as the pre-show, “Affliction: LIVE” on Fox Sports Net, FSN Executive Vice President George Greenberg indicated that the basic cable sports provider was about to begin airing EliteXC.
“For us at FSN, we’ve shown UFC; we’ve shown PRIDE; we’ve shown the IFL; we’re about to show ProElite,” Greenberg said during last week’s presser.
Since the press conference was to promote Affliction’s first-ever event this past Saturday, Greenberg didn’t elaborate. However, based on the comments by both DeLuca and Greenberg, it appears something in the works. Exactly what is not for certain. EliteXC could be looking to package old footage of its previous shows and air them in a one-hour format, similar to “UFC Unleashed” on Spike TV. Or, they could try to create a secondary live events package that would make its Cage Rage and ICON Sport brands available on FSN.
FSN’s desire to get involved with EliteXC seems very logical given the circumstances. With its PRIDE contract having expired, the only MMA that FSN is televising right now is the IFL. However, the IFL’s contract with FSN will expire at the end of the Summer and if the UFC is able to complete a purchase of the New York-based fight company, it’s unlikely that an extension of the current deal will be worked out.