Strikeforce HW Grand Prix to Air On UK’s Sky Primetime PPV

February 4, 2011

Strikeforce signs PPV TV deal with UK’s Primetime Channel 480 on Sky to bring the entire Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament to MMA fans across the pond.

On February 12th Strikeforce, in association with M-1 Global, launch the most eagerly awaited series in world MMA. Strikeforce have assembled eight of the world’s top ranking Heavyweights to compete in the Strikeforce World Grand Prix – Heavyweight Tournament, to once and for all prove who ‘the toughest man on the planet’ is.

Featuring Fedor ‘The Last Emperor’ Emilianenko (31-2, 1NC), Strikeforce World Champion Alistair Overeem(34-11, 1NC) and the only man to tap out Fedor – Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1) the line up is unrivalled by any other promotion. Add to that Andrei Arlovski (15-8), Sergei Kharitonov(16-4), Brett ‘The Grim’ Rogers(11-2), Antonio ‘Big Foot’ Silva(15-2) and the infamous Josh Barnett(29-5), you have a competition that has MMA fans on edge all over the world.

Following on from Primetime’s success with the Super Six boxing tournament, numerous World title boxing cards and various MMA events, we are delighted to announce that we are now the official UK broadcaster for the Strikeforce World Grand Prix.

This magnificent tournament begins on February 12th, live from IZOD Centre, East Rutherford, New Jersey, and the first event is headlined by Fedor Emilianenko vs Antonio Silva. Fedor will be looking to avenge his shock loss to Fabricio Werdum as he sets about reclaiming his crown as MMA’s undisputed Heavyweight number 1. Co-headlining will be Andrei Arlovski vs Sergei Kharitonov, guaranteeing this to be an unbelievable night of MMA action. Details of the upcoming rounds will be released shortly.

This unmissable tournament can only be seen in the UK on Primetime, channel 480 on Sky or at www.primetimelive.co.uk . Each event will be priced at £9.95 or the whole tournament (4 events) will be available for only £24.95. For more information call 0871 200 4444*


Payout Perspective:

Strikeforce is brining the HW GP tournament over to the UK  via PPV, as it was first reported by Robert Joyner over at MMAFA.tv.  Joyner analyzes the move by the promotion, citing obstacles such as the UK’s unwillingness to pay for PPV events, 3AM live start times, and ability to fill the entire PPV block considering the unwillingness to show preliminary fights in the past.

Going the PPV route is almost a necessity at the moment though, considering that Bravo TV, previous Strikeforce TV partner in the UK, no longer exists and getting MMA programming on other channels has proven to be a difficult task. Just a few weeks ago, BAMMA announced a TV deal that places them on the UK’s SyFy network, and others that have been willing like Bravo and NUTS-TV are not longer around.  Strikeforce ratings are not has as mainstream as UFC’s on ESPN in the UK, so making the PPV TV deal was the quickest and most secure way for Strikeforce to allow fans to watch the events.

Since the PPV event was announced, there have been a few fans that have shown their displeasure, as it is not embedded in the UK culture to pay for PPV events, though it will most likely be the end game for the UFC eventually.  However, there were a few hardcore fans that were quite pleased they were getting the events live, and not the typical delayed event that usually gets spoiled for them through the American MMA media and fans.

In order to ease the switch from a free product to a paid product, Strikeforce has packaged the entire HW GP event, 4 events in all, for a packaged price of  £24.95 ($38 USD), which is roughly around £6 ($9 USD) per show. Individual events are £9.99 ($15 USD).

There will also be a good number of promotions for the UK fans, as MMA Hit Pit is doing, who will be giving away free UK passes for each Strikeforce HW event and also free passes to watch all 4.

6 Responses to “Strikeforce HW Grand Prix to Air On UK’s Sky Primetime PPV”

  1. Tweets that mention Strikeforce HW Grand Prix to Air On Sky’s Primetime PPV in UK : MMAPayout.com: The Business of MMA -- Topsy.com on February 4th, 2011 3:57 PM

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  2. jv on February 4th, 2011 4:09 PM

    I have always wondered how the UFC gets away with doing PPV on the scale they do in North America. There is no place else on the planet that would stand for that.

    Considering they get the 4 events for 2/3 the price that I would have to pay for 1 UFC PPV I hope they aren’t that choked about in being on PPV. If SF does the final event on PPV it will likely be $60 for that show alone in Canada.

  3. Choop on February 5th, 2011 9:47 AM

    Oh my God.

    I was actually thinking the other day: “Remember the Super Six tournament on Showtime? They showed it on Primetime PPV over here. You could put the Strikeforce tournament on the same PPV channel, but that’d be HILARIOUS because all of about 100 people would buy it”.

    This is a horrendous move. The UFC does something like 60,000 viewers for it’s PPVs which are shown FREE on ESPN (costs £15/month). I have no idea what Strikeforce ratings are like here, but I can’t imagine they’re over 20,000.

    This tournament will seriously do no more than 500 buys. I unfortunately will be one of them.

  4. Jose Mendoza on February 5th, 2011 2:02 PM

    Choop,

    In the last few days, I’ve spoken to several fans that were very excited to watch Live MMA over in the UK with fighters of this magnitude. I agree with you that it won’t do any big numbers at all (my guess is that they do 15-20K viewers per event on average), but I am sure there is a small hardcore MMA fan base that might think the package is worth it.

    I don’t believe this was done to cash in on the UK fans, but they were limited and had to get something done quick in time for the Strikeforce HW GP, which starts in about a week. Fans would be much more upset if they were ignoring the market, but I believe this is a temporary solution. I think using the same model for the Super Six Tournament also had something to do with this being an option. I wonder how many UK fans purchased the Super Six on PPV? Those would be interesting numbers to look at.

  5. Jose Mendoza on February 8th, 2011 2:31 AM

    Commercial Spot for Strikeforce HWGP Primetime PPV in the UK:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HDHJj8lJE0

  6. Choop on February 8th, 2011 10:41 AM

    I don’t think any fan should care about Strikeforce ignoring the market. This is the age of the internet. If an event airs only in America everybody knows they can get it the next day in high definition quality.

    I’m guessing they didn’t show Diaz vs Cyborg in the UK but I wouldn’t have known anyway because I just got it the day after like usual.

    The UFC needs to have a strong TV presence to expand the sport in the UK, but Strikeforce is just for the hardcore fans, and all we care about is getting to see it, which anyone with a net connection can do. It sucks watching live anyway because you’re up to 6AM.

    I didn’t expect Strikeforce to have a TV deal for this tournament but I was going to watch it anyway. Sengoku don’t have a TV presence here but I still watch that too.

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