Showtime and Mixed Martial Arts Organization Strikeforce have struck a deal for a new MMA series. The new agreement comes in response to fellow MMA organization EliteXC closing its doors last year.
EliteXC televised a number events on Showtime and sister network CBS, and counted Showtime as a partial owner. When EliteXC went out of business in 2008, the network had an MMA hole to fill in its schedule.
The new series will air live as part of Showtime Sports franchise; its multi-year agreement includes production of up to 16 live events per year which will include Strikeforce world championship events, and a series dedicated to up-and-coming fighters in the sport.
"We are very excited to have the opportunity to deliver live Strikeforce events on the Showtime premium television platform," said Strikeforce Founder and CEO Scott Coker.
Ken Hershman, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Sports and Event Programming at Showtime Networks was responsible for pioneering the network's entry into MMA in 2007.
The new series reunites Showtime and Strikeforce since their successful “Shamrock vs. Baroni” event presented by Showtime PPV in 2007.
"Strikeforce has a history of presenting high-quality, compelling mixed martial arts events and we are thrilled to be able to bring their world-class events to our subscribers," said Hershman in a statement.