Titan FC signs with CBS Sports Network

January 10, 2014

MMA Fighting reports that Titan FC has signed a deal with CBS Sports Network.  The organization plans to run at least 8 shows in 2014.

The first televised event on CBS Sports Network will be on February 28th.  The event’s prelims will take place online.  The organization was recently purchased by Jeff Aronson.  Previously, Aronson ran Alchemist Management, which manages MMA fighters.  He has now purchased a majority stake in Titan FC.

Titan FC events had previously appeared on AXS TV.

Payout Perspective:

The new deal is good news for smaller fight organizations as the CBS Sports deal indicates that there is some interest in smaller organizations receiving television deals.  CBS Sports has about 30 million subscribers.  In a Sports Business Journal article, CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus described the network as doing “smart deals.”  The article describes the network as having a “slow-and-steady strategy” with respect to its programming.  It will not make splashes with big deals but is trying to build smartly.  This deal gets the network into MMA and we will see where it goes from there.

10 Responses to “Titan FC signs with CBS Sports Network”

  1. Chris27 on January 10th, 2014 10:50 AM

    CBSSN needs to be in HD, I don’t want to watch their fights in SD.

  2. JKT on January 10th, 2014 11:57 AM

    Every sports channel seems to be buying some MMA content.
    Fox Sports: UFC
    NBC Sports: WSoF
    CBS Sports: Titan
    Viacom: Bellator

    Still shows the immaturity of the MMA market. It’s cheap content and many fans don’t distinguish between brands.

    You don’t see anything remotely similar with knock-off NBA, NFL, NHL, or MLB clones getting picked up by sports channels that get outbid for the top leagues.

    You also don’t see minor league golf or tennis on TV, it’s just PGA and ATP/WTA tour events.

    You do see some minor league auto racing series. ARCA is the poor man’s Nascar and it signed a deal with Fox Sports and NBC Sports to air it’s races.

    ARCA doesn’t try to compete with Nascar and has survived for decades as a minor league series. Mostly with guys who never get a Nascar shot, but with an occasional retired Nascar name or two.

    Most sports eventually have a winner take all, with fans unwilling to invest time and energy in the non-dominant leagues.

    It’s rare to see so many competing leagues on TV, like we see with MMA now. But this is, most likely, a transition period. Interesting to see how long it lasts.

  3. JKT on January 10th, 2014 12:00 PM

    The new sports channels mainly just need content.
    ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, NBC Sports, CBS Sports, NFL Network, NBA Network, NHL Network, Golf Channel, Tennis Channel, Big Ten Network, SEC Network, Longhorn Network, all the regional Fox and Comcast networks.
    By 2020, Americans will do nothing but watch 17 hours of TV sports a day.

  4. Jason Cruz on January 10th, 2014 12:37 PM

    @JKT: I agree with you. I do think knock-off NBA, NFL, etc. do not work because of the quality compared to the pros. MMA still relatively new that most newcomers to sport can’t discern what is quality MMA.

  5. JKT on January 10th, 2014 3:09 PM

    Right, CBS Sports and NBC Sports hope people will be flicking though channels, see some guys in a cage hitting each other, and watch some. I’m sure the content is ultra-cheap.

    Of course, if college sports didn’t exist, then maybe there would be more of a market for knock-off NBA, NFL, etc. Doubtful, but perhaps.

    Another thing is the visual branding.
    NFL, NBA, NBA, NHL games typically have team logs on the screen at all times. The uniforms and arena/stadiums are well known and recognized.
    Most fans can instantly tell which teams are playing.

    When lesser known fighters are fighting, it’s not immediately visually obvious which promotion the fighters are fighting under. It’s just dudes fighting.

    I’m surprised UFC doesn’t more strongly brand their events, visually speaking.
    Of course, the knock-offs will try to copy UFC’s look since their business plan wants to trick viewers into giving them a chance.

  6. BrainSmasher on January 10th, 2014 3:35 PM

    I brought this up on another thread. But there is a demand for MMA on all these networks. After the Fox deal. I could see the UFC creating properties to sell to all these networks. Currently they have a few properties that have great value and bring ratings. Fight Nights, Big FOX shows, TUF, Prelims, etc. If the ratings come up on FS1. I can see UFC working out deals with a couple other networks besides FOX. We see the NFL on like 4 different networks. NBA is on many different networks as is MLB. Even the WWE is on like 4 different networks. WWE broke down their product into many different properties to sell separately.

    Sadly as long as networks can grab cheap low level promotions like this. They will never make a real commitment to MMA. Also MMA and the UFC will never get the contracts of other sports that they deserve because of these promotions. Other sports leagues don’t have someone under cutting them. So they make billions off tv rights. Other promotions in MMA are driving the price down for MMA promotions and only benefiting the tv networks.

  7. edi on January 11th, 2014 1:10 PM

    I feel one must look outside of the USA to see the potential of sports content. Australia has AFL that I watched on the very first ESPN. I did not have a clue what I was watching. It was just cool in the 1980s to see. I looked up that the average gross pay of an Aussie rules football player is over $150K per annum, Pro. I could not find what Aussie rules gets as a league for TV rights in Australia. What do you think the TV deal for J-League soccer in Japan or Korean Baseball locally in Korea is worth? Sports is huge here in the USA but definitely 2018 will look a whole lot different than 2014. Who owns the old IFL content? I loved the fights there- to me it was like watching College Football. We must be honest$$ the NCAA is pretty much the NFL minor leagues. It is not like NFL scouts are in New Zealand everyday of the week.

  8. Chris27 on January 12th, 2014 1:12 PM

    I believe HDNet/AXS bought the IFL rights.

  9. zasassin on January 14th, 2014 6:39 PM

    On November 17, 2008, IFLC sold substantially all of its assets to HD Net LLC (“HD Net”) for $650,000 in cash plus the assumption of certain of IFLC’s obligations, pursuant to a sale under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code which was approved by the Court on October 28, 2008. In connection with the sale of substantially all of our assets to HD Net, the assets sold included the name “International Fight League,” our corporate name. We have an agreement with HD Net which permits us to use “International Fight League” for general corporate purposes until the earlier of (a) two years or (b) becoming involved in any active trade or business (other than the use of the name for general corporate purposes).

    On August 5, 2009, the Court approved a disclosure statement (the “Disclosure Statement”) filed by IFLC, which described its plan of liquidation (the “Plan”), which is attached to the Disclosure Statement. Pursuant to the Plan, IFLC’s remaining assets will be used to satisfy its creditors, and our equity interest in IFLC will be terminated with no payment. A hearing to confirm the Plan was held on September 14, 2009, at which time the Court confirmed the Plan. This resulted in termination of our interest in IFLC with no payment to us. The liquidation of IFLC was completed on January 15, 2010. After confirmation of the Plan and the sale to HD Net, we had no ongoing business operations.

    Read more: http://www.getfilings.com/sec-filings/110330/International-Fight-League-Inc_10-K/#ixzz2qQmUc2ra

  10. zasassin on January 14th, 2014 6:41 PM

    I agree with JKT, good analysis. Also, regional Comcast networks show local fights, tape delayed about 1-3 months. Inexpensive content that is disposable, but still repeatable in the market.

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