IFL Inks Broadcast Deal with Fox Sports Net

By Sherdog.com Staff Mar 29, 2006
The International Fight League announced Wednesday that it has signed a deal with Fox Sports Net that would put the fledgling mixed martial arts league on cable television.

As part of the agreement, FSN will air three nationally televised shows based on the IFL’s April 29 debut card at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City.

Other details were not released.

Starting Sunday, May 21, FSN viewers can see two of the league’s four teams square off in a single-elimination tournament format. The following Sunday, the remaining squads will do the same. Winners advance to IFL’s “Legends Championship” in early June.

Fox Sports Net, which offers national, regional and local sports programming to 81 million homes, is no stranger to MMA-related content.

In June 2002, Robbie Lawler (Pictures)’s knockout of Steve Berger (Pictures) in the UFC was tape-delayed to FSN’s “Best Damn Sports Show, Period!” Previously broadcast UFC and PRIDE Pay-Per-View bouts have also aired on the regional sports network.

Since August 2005, FSN has served as PRIDE’s American cable broadcast partner, airing monthly specials that feature many of the Japanese organization’s top fighters.

“When it comes to delivering action, FSN is known for being the most innovative network out there,“ IFL co-founder Gareb Shamus said in a prepared statement. “We couldn’t have found a better place to televise our debut, and we’re committed to giving fans a great, action-packed event, which we know will turn into three killer shows.”

FSN declined to comment on the deal.

Emmy-award winner Peter Lasser has been tabbed to produce the IFL’s first foray onto cable television.

Those attending the late-April card will also see Jens Pulver (Pictures), who takes to the ring this weekend against Masakazu Imanari (Pictures) at PRIDE's Bushido 10, fight Cole Escovedo (Pictures) in a “super fight.”

Coached by Bas Rutten (Pictures), Pat Miletich (Pictures), Renzo Gracie (Pictures) and Maurice Smith (Pictures) respectively, the IFL’s four teams — Silverbacks, Anacondas, Pitbulls and Tigersharks — are each made up of five fighters ranging from lightweight to heavyweight.
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