Home News Curtain Stays Closed at Showtime- No MMA this Year

Curtain Stays Closed at Showtime- No MMA this Year

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In May, Showtime sports executive Stephen Espinoza hinted at a deal to bring mixed martial arts back to their airwaves later in the year. The network that introduced many to Strikeforce and EliteXC was rumored to be looking into a partnership with Invicta FC, an all-women’s promotion.

Espinoza officially put those rumors to rest when he spoke to MMA Fighting this week. “We are continuing to evaluate MMA opportunities,” he said. “But given our very busy programming slate for the rest of 2013, any new MMA programming would have to debut in 2014.”

Even though Showtime’s final event was January’s Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine, the demise of their MMA programming began in 2011. Former manager of sports and event programming Ken Hershman, who was vital in bringing Strikeforce aboard, left the company to work for rival HBO. From that point on Showtime’s interest in mixed martial arts declined, possible contributing to Strikeforce folding earlier this year.

This is a blow to promotions trying to escape the UFC’s shadow. While it may not work on premium channels, television networks will eventually realize that there is a growing MMA audience looking for an alternative. We’ll have to wait and see who is bold enough to take the risk.

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Jose Serrano
Born and raised in Santa Ana, California, Jose Serrano has always had a desire to be a journalist. He worked his way from staff writer of the Santa Ana College el Don newspaper to Editor-in-Chief where he led them to nationwide recognition. Individually, Jose gained recognition from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association in 2008 and 2009 for various stories written and pages designed. When he is not writing, Jose find pleasure in watching is beloved Los Angeles Angels. You will also find him reading and taking writing classes. His desire to write about MMA comes from his exposure to it when he was a teenager. As his love for sports continues to grow, so does his need to write about them.