On Thursday, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker (Pictured) and UFC president Dana White announced they have finally secured an ever-elusive broadcast extension to remain on Showtime.
“Showtime has been a great TV partner for us and we’re happy to renew our agreement with them,” Coker said. “Together, we’ve put on some really amazing events and we’re going to keep doing that with this new deal. We have a great core of talented fighters on our roster and MMA fans are in for a real treat.”
Under the new agreement, the premium cable network will produce and televise up to eight live events per year. Neither party was willing to divulge the duration of the extension during today’s conference call.
Showtime hosts their next Strikeforce broadcast this Saturday in San Diego, California, but will officially kick off their new deal during the network’s Free Preview Weekend on January 7th when middleweight champ Rockhold defends his title against veteran Keith Jardine in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“Since its advent on Showtime in 2007, live mixed martial arts has always performed well with our subscribers, particularly in the younger demographics,” said Stephen Espinoza, executive vice president Showtime Sports. “As the one and only premium network in the MMA business, we are proud to renew our commitment to the sport and to our partners at Strikeforce.
“This agreement ensures that we can continue to deliver the edge-of-your-seat programming that each live MMA event produces in the New Year and beyond.”
Beginning with “Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine,” Showtime will start to televise all of Strikeforce’s under cards live on Showtime Extreme.
“We’re excited about this renewal with Showtime and I expect to put on some big Strikeforce events next year,” White said. “I never thought I would say this, but I am very much looking forward to building Strikeforce and working very closely with Showtime.”
In other groundbreaking news, after the Heavyweight Grand Prix wraps, the tournament winner will then fight one more time against a top tier 265-pounder before Strikeforce eliminates the weight class from their lineup.