Photo courtesy of International Fight League.
The rocky relationship between the International Fight League and MyNetworkTV continues for now.
Like we reported last week, The Fight Network confirmed with officials from the network that IFL programming would no longer be in the lineup. In a new interview with MMA Madness, IFL CEO Kurt Otto admits that the station has placed IFL programming “on hiatus”.
According to Otto, it means that the network may or may not decide to begin airing IFL-related television shows once again.
Despite the gloomy outlook, Otto remains optimistic about the chances of his promotion holding it’s place as the first mixed martial arts promotion to ever be shown on a non-cable channel.
“(The network) is excited about having us. Our ratings went up 20-percent,” Otto said in the interview. “After all, there is little other programming that so reliably delivers the coveted male 18-36 year old demographic to networks and advertisers.”
This doesn’t leave the IFL without a television deal however as they inked a deal with Mark Cuban’s HDNet earlier this month.
The agreement will have the network televise the IFL’s first three events in 2008, starting with their Las Vegas show on February 29th, which features a total of three title fights.
Still, the fact that HDNet only reaches around eight million homes while MyNetworkTV could be seen in 95% of homes in North America is a huge hit to a promotion that has fallen on hard times ever since it’s inception in 2006.
To be honest, it kind of saddens me that the IFL won’t be getting as much exposure compared to last season. After a terrible start on the network in terms of production, the IFL rebounded in a big way and the first round of their Grand Prix being broadcast live was a solid way to cap off the end of the year.
Touch of gloves to Fightlinker for the find of the Otto interview.
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