It has been reported by the IFL that Fox Sports Net and MyNetworkTv have reached an agreement to broadcast 22 one hour late night events on FSN and 22 two hour IFL produced programs on MyNetworkTv. According to IFL.com:
Under terms of the alliance, FSN has multi-year rights to televise 22 one-hour late night event programs, produced by the IFL, beginning in the second quarter of 2007. FSN also has the right to produce related ancillary programming, pay-per-view events and video-on-demand product.
The agreement also calls for FSN and the IFL to establish a joint venture to manage, maximize and distribute IFL-related digital media rights including online/Internet, broadband video and mobile, with the potential to leverage Fox’s powerful digital assets including Myspace, IGN, Fox Mobile Entertainment’s new global distribution partnerships and other potential third party digital platforms.
“Mixed martial arts, which has evolved tremendously in recent years, is one of the fastest growing sports in the world,” said FSN’s Thompson. “In addition to FSN committing a regular weekly window to the IFL to help establish the league, News Corp’s broad array of digital platforms positions us perfectly to unlock and maximize the tremendous value of the league’s new media potential.”
In addition to FSN’s weekly program and the digital media joint venture, MyNetworkTV will be an exciting combination of event action, highlights, features, vignettes and the league’s latest news.
The article goes on to state:
MyNetworkTV is the new primetime general entertainment broadcast television network that launched September 5, 2006. Targeted to Adults 18-49 and broadcast television’s only all Hi-Definition network, as well as the only network with original programming 52 weeks a year, MyNetworkTV provides its affiliates 12 hours of programming Monday through Saturday. Currently, MyNetworkTV airs Twentieth Television’s dramas “Wicked Wicked Games,” starring Oscar-winning actress Tatum O’Neal, and “Watch Over Me,” with Dayanara Torres, Casper Van Dien and Catherine Oxenberg, For more information, please visit www.mynetworktv.com.
Teaming up with MyNetworkTv seems to be a good move for the IFL. With HD programming becoming more and more popular, it is a good idea to get in on it while it is growing. The IFL becomes just the second mma promotion to be broadcast in HD with the UFC now broadcasting their PPV’s in HD for an extra $10.00 starting with UFC 67 on February 3rd.
It is hard to tell right now how this will affect the IFL. Broadcasting on PPV helps to generate a lot more revenue as long as you have people to subscribe. Hopefully we will see them go down that road in the future. I think they are going about this the right way. Although the FSN deal is just an extension of their old deal, FSN is a syndicated network that is available in every major market. The MyNetworkTv deal makes it all the more sweeter being that it is a network dedicated to HD programming. There are not too many networks in HD as of yet, and getting the IFL on HD without being on PPV is a great move on the IFL’s part that is not getting the credit it deserves.
I know I am pulling for the IFL to succeed. More mma = more fun. And we’ve all heard it before: competition is good for business.