Fight Pass to undergo future growth

September 8, 2015

UFC Fight Pass is making moves as recently hired Eric Winter is seeking for expansive growth in the coming months.  In a couple recent interviews he has provided some insight into the future of the digital platform.

MMA Fighting reports that Winter foresees more original content as well as the eventual hope of holding weekly live cards on the over the top platform.  In addition, Winter stated that Fight Pass will go under a technology update which will include an updated search functionality.  He also indicated the signing of more organization as content partners.  Currently, InvictaFC and TitanFC have deals with Zuffa for live streaming of its fights on UFC Fight Pass.

Winter who came over from Yahoo to be the new Senior Vice President and General Manager for UFC Fight Pass plans big things for the digital platform.

In an interview with Multichannel.com, Winter and Chief Content Officer Marshall Zelaznik talked about Fight Pass and its future.  Although they were asked, they did not reveal the number of subscribers.  They did infer that subscriptions were exceeding expectations.

In the interview, Winter and Zelaznik stated that they do not see Fight Pass following the lead of the WWE Network (i.e., no PPVs on Fight Pass).  They emphasized the company’s commitment to its PPV distributing partners.

They also inferred that virtual reality would be a part of the future on UFC Fight Pass as well as more original content.  They said to be toiling with Google Cardboard for virtual reality.

Payout Perspective:

Some interesting takeaways from the MMA Fighting and Multichannel.com interviews.  The first is that the UFC is not going to move away from its PPV model anytime soon.  Unlike the WWE, the UFC’s business model is predicated on PPVs and it sounds like the company has no plans to change course (like the WWE) when it comes to PPV.  As for the future of Fight Pass, content is king and the challenge Winter seems to have is how to engage its core demo to subscribe when there is so much UFC on television.  The original content should help as well as the live fights.  But, with the fickleness of the demo and cord cutters, the challenge will be having fans pay $10 per month.

Titan FC to air events on UFC Fight Pass

June 15, 2015

MMA Fighting reports that Titan FC has entered into a broadcasting deal with UFC Fight Pass.  The organization will air its fight on the online platform.  The first Titan FC event will air on UFC Fight Pass on July 18th.

The deal was officially announced by Jeff Aronson and Lex McMahon in an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour.  Aronson indicated that it was a long-term deal with 8-10 shows per year.  Aronson indicated that it would just be a distribution deal and not an acquisition of the company.

Prior to the deal with UFC Fight Pass, Titan FC aired on CBS Sports Network.

In addition to the new partnership with the UFC, Titan FC fighters will allow its fighters to move up to the UFC.  Also, UFC fighters may move to fight for Titan FC.

No financial terms were revealed.

Payout Perspective:

This will be a unique partnership as it will give Titan FC exposure as a company on Fight Pass although it loses its cable exposure on CBS Sports.  For the UFC, its more content for Fight Pass and it gives it a “feeder” system for up and coming fighters.  Conversely, it gives ex-UFC fighters a place to fight with hopes of returning to the UFC.  We have seen a similar situation occur with Invicta FC where it airs on Fight Pass and its fighters have the opportunity of appearing in the UFC.  We shall see if there is more to the Titan FC deal and/or if the UFC will look to more partnerships with organizations in the weeks to come.

Titan FC moves April 25th event

April 14, 2014

MMA Fighting reports that Titan FC has moved its April 25th event to May 16th.  The reason for the change appears to be due to injuries of some of its fighters.

“I refused to put out a subpar fight card when just this weekend three more fighters got hit with the injury bug,” Titan FC president and CEO Jeffrey Aronson said.  Raphael Davis is still scheduled to face Jason Brilz in the main event.

In addition to moving the date, it is moving its location from Kansas City, Missouri to Newkirk, Oklahoma.

Another change will be its live streaming of prelims on CBSSports.com instead of CBSSportsNetwork.com.

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Payout Perspective:

It’s rare that you see a company move an event so close to the intended date.  But if it’s due to injuries and the second time it gets a chance to appear on CBS Sports Network, it wants to put its best foot forward.  I am not sure how big the move from CBSSports.com to CBSSportsNetwork.com is in terms of actual viewers, but it appears that there is a possibility of reaching a much broader audience according to Aronson.  We have seen WSOF live stream on NBC Sports Network online and Bellator stream prelims on SpikeTV.com.  And, of course the UFC has now moved its prelims to its Fight Pass platform.  The move to online viewing is another way for fight organizations to grab viewers.

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.

Jason High Added to Titan FC 16 on January 28, Televised on HDNET

January 3, 2011

Coming off a huge win over Japanese MMA legend Mach Sakurai on NYE’s Dynamite show, Jason High looks to keep his momentum going in 2011 as he will take on former Strikeforce and Bellator veteran Rudy Bears on the Titan FC 16 event, which will be televised on HDNet.

The Titan Fighting Championship (www.TitanFighting.com) officially announced today that standout welterweight Jason High has been added to its scheduled Titan Fighting Championship 16 event on January 28. The show, which will be televised live on HDNet (www.HD.net) and is set to emanate from the historic Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas, will be headlined by two-time UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia facing Abe Wagner, a veteran from the tenth season of the Spike TV hit reality show, The Ultimate Fighter.

The addition of High to the card comes off the heels of his impressive win on New Year’s Eve in Japan during DREAM’s “Dynamite!!” event over Japanese MMA legend Hayato “Mach” Sakurai. High entered the bout as the underdog but walked away with a decision victory over Sakurai despite the fact that he was fighting in Sakurai’s home country.

A veteran of the UFC and Affliction, High returns home to his native Kansas City to take on Bellator Fighting Championships and Strikeforce veteran Rudy Bears. Bears, a former world champion kickboxer, lives and trains in the Kansas City area and the High vs. Bears matchup could determine who is arguably the city’s best welterweight.

“On paper, High vs. Bears has a chance to be the fight of the night,” commented Titan Fighting CEO Joe Kelly. “Jason is coming off the biggest win of his career and Rudy’s last fight was a brilliant TKO victory over UFC veteran Chad Reiner during a Bellator show. Both Jason and Rudy are going to tear the roof off of Memorial Hall.”

HDNet Fights CEO Andrew Simon added, “It’s great to feature Jason in two high profile televised fights within 30 days on HDNet. Jason deserves the exposure as he fought an intelligent fight on New Year’s Eve at Dynamite!! on Sakurai’s home turf and still found a way to come out with a decision. I am looking forward to seeing the two hometown guys fight for bragging rights in Kansas City.”

In addition to his recent win over Reiner, Bears, 12-6, also holds notable victories in his career over Brendan Seguin, Brian Green, and Ted Worthington. Nicknamed “Bad News,” Bears is an instructor at the Caveman Crew fight gym and competes regularly in marathons.

With the win over Sakurai on Friday, High improved to 12-3. He has now won three consecutive fights following a decision loss to Charlie Brenneman in his one and only UFC appearance. High also holds notable wins over Strikeforce veteran Andre Galvao and UFC veterans Kevin Burns and James Giboo. An impressive win over Bears could earn him the designation of being the highest profile unsigned fighter in the welterweight division.

High vs. Bears will be featured during the national televised broadcast of Titan Fighting Championships 16 on Jan. 28 starting at 10:00 p.m. ET/9:00 p.m. CT with the local undercard starting at 8:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. CT. Tickets for the event, which will emanate from the historic Memorial Hall ( www.MemorialHallKC.com), are currently on-sale at Ticketmaster.com and the Memorial Hall box office.


Payout Perspective:

Titan FC 16 will be headlined by former UFC HW champion Tim Sylvia, as he takes on former TUF participant Abe Wagner. Todd Duffee taking on Abe Wagner was the planned main event for the telecast, but Duffee accepted the last second invite to the Japanese NYE Dynamite event to take on Strikeforce HW champion Alistair Overeem for the Interim DREAM HW championship belt.

It’s great to see HDNet provide a platform for young promising fighters such as Duffee and High to increase their value as fighters, and hopefully catch the attention of promotions that are willing to use them as main events or to attract offers from other promotions to keep developing their careers as mixed martial artists.

Titan FC 16 Card:
Date: January 28, 2011
Venue: Memorial Hall
Location: Kansas City, Missouri

– Tim Sylvia (28-6) vs Abe Wagner (8-2)
– Jason High (10-3) vs Rudy Bears (12-6)
– Drew McFedries (8-6) vs. Gary Tapasua (6-1)
– L.C. Davis (15-4) vs Jared Downing (5-0)
– Aaron Derrow (8-2) vs Alonzo Martinez (28-12)