M-1 Global Negotiating With Showtime For TV Deal, Fedor Strikeforce Extension

September 21, 2010

MMAPayout has learned through sources close to the negotiations that M-1 Global is currently angling for a US TV deal with Showtime, in hopes for next years M-1 Challenge (independent of Strikeforce), to go along with a 5 fight extension (not including the 1 fight still remaining) for Fedor Emelienenko with Strikeforce.

Along with the announcement, M-1 Global Director of Operations Evgeni Kogan went on Eddie Goldman’s No Holds Barred Show and proclaimed that the June 26th co-promoted event between M-1 and Strikeforce was a successful show for M-1 and for the co-branding with Strikeforce and Showtime, despite Fedor’s loss to Fabricio Werdum. Kogan will spend the next few weeks working to finalize the deal with Showtime, which he states is going “well”, and hopes to have an announcement within the next month, which will hopefully consist of the TV deal and Fedor’s next fight and opponent in Strikeforce. If negotiations go well, M1 would like to see Fedor take on Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem in 2011. Fedor is in talks to fight on the rumored Strikeforce December 4th event, with Antonio “Big Foot” Silva  mentioned as a possible opponent to satisfy his last contracted fight with Strikeforce.

Kogan also mentions that there have been no talks between M-1 and the UFC, says they are happy with their partners Showtime and Strikeforce.  MMAPayout will keep you updated as we learn more details regarding the negotiations.

15 Responses to “M-1 Global Negotiating With Showtime For TV Deal, Fedor Strikeforce Extension”

  1. Machiel Van on September 21st, 2010 8:12 AM

    No one will watch M-1 Challenge on Showtime, it is a largely unknown event in the US and has no marketable stars. They have enough trouble just getting people to watch Strikeforce, which has had exposure on network TV. This is just silly. Does it mean that this is the end of the Strikeforce/M-1 Global partnership, or is it just an ancillary deal between Showtime and M-1 Global?

  2. mmaguru on September 21st, 2010 8:22 AM

    Agreed Machiel. I highly doubt M1 will be able to get this deal signed.

  3. Jose Mendoza on September 21st, 2010 11:35 AM

    Machiel, mmaguru:

    Sounds very unlikely on our end considering everything we have heard, but Kogan is in NY right now in talks with Showtime. I guess we will see what happens in a few weeks. BTW, they would continue their partnership, since the TV deal is part of the contract negotiations with Strikeforce.

  4. John S. on September 21st, 2010 12:28 PM

    Would the deal be along the lines of Strikeforce’s Challenger cards i.e. $300,000 an event? I could maybe see that working, Showtime broadcasting 6-8 M1 Challenge cards for $2 mil or $2.5 mil (the cost of a Fedor fight already?) and maybe they have some co-promotion involved: Strikeforce fighters appearing on the Challenge cards and bringing over the more successful m1 fighters.

  5. Jose Mendoza on September 21st, 2010 12:53 PM

    Great points John,

    I believe the $300,000 figure was just an average figure, which means that SF could get a lot more for their big events and a lot less for the smaller events.. could be closer to a 150K-200K range. We don’t know the details of the negotiations yet, or if Showtime is really interested in doing this, but we know that M-1 is definitely trying to increase their reach in the States, and using Fedor’s extension talks with Strikeforce/Showtime as an opportunity to also throw in a TV deal for M-1 would be huge for them at this point. Kogan only mentioned the M-1 Challenge events on Showtime, so I am not even sure if they would even want to co-promote those cards or have crossover talent between the two promotions on that level.

  6. Josh Barnett On Fedor Emelianenko: ‘I’m Sure It Will Happen At Some Point’ on September 21st, 2010 2:23 PM

    […] months. Fedor Emelianenko is still in contract negotiations with Strikeforce and Showtime, and word is M-1 Global is trying to parlay his signing into a Showtime TV deal for their M-1 Challenge series. […]

  7. jv on September 21st, 2010 2:34 PM

    If any of this is true I wonder if they would work it as OK you can have some M1 shows but the co-pro with SF ends. We will pay a sum for Fedor to fight just like any other fighter but the co-pro is done.

    I just can’t see M1 getting more in this contract deal than they did in the previous ones now that Fedor has lost. I really can’t see SF getting excited about M1 on Showtime with out tossing them a bone as well.

    As for M1 if they get a deal it may be with them at 3AM on a Wednesday night.

  8. Josh Barnett On Fedor Fight: ‘I’m Sure It Will Happen At Some Point’ | brocklesnartickets.com on September 21st, 2010 4:31 PM

    […] months. Fedor Emelianenko is still in contract negotiations with Strikeforce and Showtime, and word is M-1 Global is trying to parlay his signing into a Showtime TV deal for their M-1 Challenge series. […]

  9. Stan Kosek on September 21st, 2010 5:19 PM

    Is there any word on Strikeforce/CBS future?

  10. mmaguru on September 21st, 2010 7:12 PM

    Stan,
    I heard Coker was trying to get something worked out for the fall. I thought the possibility was there due to the imminent release of the EA MMA game (October 19, 2010) however we already know that both October shows will be on Showtime. On top of that the failure to get a major HW match to fall in place didn’t help.

    The latest rumor right now is that Strikeforce is planning a big event in December which would include some kind of one night tournament to crown the #1 contender for the middleweight title.

    My opinion is that without Fedor, Overeem, or Werdum fighting, they would need to have Hershal and Hendo headline a card before CBS would entertain the idea. Josh Barnett and Daley are just not big enough draws to make it worth CBS’s time.

  11. cool on September 21st, 2010 7:42 PM

    This would be great,M-1 has some solid fighters in the Europens tournaments and up and comers with Byron Bird and Kenny Garner in the America tourny.now just get them on tv

  12. jv on September 22nd, 2010 11:49 AM

    >”My opinion is that without Fedor, Overeem, or Werdum fighting, they would need to have Hershal and Hendo headline a card before CBS would entertain the idea. ”

    Like this?
    http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2010/9/22/1703847/strikeforce-dan-henderson-vs

    If this does go to CBS hopefully Melendez will be ready by then. I don’t think Hendo and Hershal is enough to pull in the numbers if the UFC counters with some thing juicy.

  13. Stan Kosek on September 22nd, 2010 2:22 PM

    Guru/JV,

    Thanks, to me it sounds like they’re angling for that Dec. 4th to be on CBS if CBS accepts it, good synergy with NFL season going on and Walker, but I’m sure Showtime would accept that as a card if CBS falls though. Although, I could see CBS rejecting it without one more draw, Henderson completely flopped for them in the last card, and they did have adds during the NCAA tournament which should have been being watched by their target demo.

  14. Jose Mendoza on September 22nd, 2010 2:28 PM

    It’s looking like the Dec 4th card may be a Showtime card… late January 2011 is the plan for the next big SF card, though still confirming.

  15. Stan Kosek on September 22nd, 2010 6:58 PM

    Meltzer’s site, I believe Bryan Alvarez is the reporter on it, is saying the 12/4 will be a Showtime card, not a CBS card.

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