Who Will Win the Race for a Weekly Live MMA Fight Series?

April 30, 2009

While MMA has seen it’s share of one-off live events as well as the reality TV offered by TUF, the sport has yet to see a true weekly live fight series, akin to a Friday Night Fights offered on ESPN or like the old Tuesday Night Fights offered on USA from the Blue Horizon. Bellator Fighting Championship has recently made indications that a slot may be in the offing on ESPN or ESPN2, possibly as soon as this fall. While all chatter on Bellator’s part is pointing to that conclusion, it remains to be seen if you will see it come to it’s fruition. In the event that they do make the big leap to one of the big two, there would still be the decision to go from a one day tape delay to a true live event. The current set up benefits Bellator’s production pieces that help build human interest in the fighters, so that may be an impediment to live shows even if they do hit ESPN/ESPN2.

While there hasn’t been much public discussion as of late about a live event series on a weekly basis on Spike, that doesn’t mean that those talks haven’t been made behind closed doors. Spike TV officials spoke with MMAPayout.com and intimated there have been “lots of discussions between the UFC and Spike on the topic…but not for this year.” Talks of a live weekly series on Spike TV was first put forward at the time of the UFC’s re-signing with Spike, with the the live show being a possible replacement for a phased out TUF. Since that time there has been little talk on the subject, though. Based on the comments of Spike Execs, this may be something that will take place in ’10 or ’11.

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