Saturday, June 07, 2014

Invicta signs inevitable broadcast deal with UFC Fight Pass

Late Thursday it was announced that Invicta FC signed a broadcast deal with UFC Fight Pass. This was probably the most unsurprising announcement in MMA history. Of course I would have preferred the honesty of UFC buying Invicta as I suggested last year. But let's keep the illusion going until Zuffa absorbs Invicta as they did WEC and Strikeforce. I know that UFC president Dana White and Invicta owner Shannon Knapp will deny that Zuffa will absorb Invicta. But I don't see anything that makes me want to believe either of them. And history says the opposite. I have no problem with the deal. The UFC needs Invicta to feed them female fighters so it's in their best interest to keep Invicta going...for now. Though Invicta has a very loyal fanbase, this deal signifies that Invicta was going to close or Knapp would have never signed this deal. They were not getting a TV deal which is what I have been saying for the last two years. Every time I heard about a possible Invicta TV deal, I concluded that it was nonsense except when they turned down AXS TV two years ago. Of course it wasn't the kind of money they wanted but you have to start somewhere. It would have established them and led to a better deal. Despite Knapp's constant claims of being close to a TV deal, the move to iPPV indicated the opposite. And as I predicted on this blog when they first tried iPPV, it was a big disaster and they had to refund everyone's money. It's OK to do that once but to do iPPV repeatedly is incredibly naive. And that's what almost killed Invicta. When you are in business, you have to consider worst case scenarios, not best case scenarios. So when the December iPPV again went in the tank and they again had to refund everyone's money, that was the end of the road. A month earlier, Invicta sold eleven fighters to the UFC. That's another barrier to a TV deal because any network will want to know how often the UFC will raid the roster. That's a fair question. Nobody wants a UFC feeder league. So short of Zuffa buying Invicta, this is the next best thing. Invicta's first show will be in August headlined by Cris Cyborg vs Ediane Gomes at 145lb. Remember Cyborg is under Invicta contract and until she proves she can fight at 135lb, she won't get a UFC deal. That her fights will be on UFC Fight Pass is somewhat ironic. One thing you can expect is for Zuffa to take over production of the Invicta broadcast and I expect a completely different announce team. It's their network and they will bring in their own people. I guess I will start subscribing to UFC Fight Pass soon.

1 comment:

  1. What a shame they did not go to AXS TV and are now a feeder for Zuffa, soon to be taken over completely by Zuffa and the UFC. I really like Invicta when they first came out. They were a first class operation. RIP Invicta.