UPDATE (by Kris Karkoski): SI.com’s Josh Gross confirmed with ProElite CEO Chuck Champion on Thursday that Strikeforce has finalized its purchase of select ProElite assets.
According to the report the deal includes:
- Strikeforce and ProElite agree to a limited asset purchase, including some fighter contracts and options for additional fighter contracts
- Strikeforce obtains library footage for EliteXC events
- Strikeforce obtains licensing of the ShoXC brand name
- Paid off debt to CBS/Showtime
- Showtime remains a partner with ProElite, same ownership stake
“Moving forward ProElite will not dissolve, as was previously expected. The company will continue promote MMA events, primarily under the King of the Cage brand, though it still owns the rights to EliteXC-branded events. ProElite has a television deal with Fox Sports that needs renegotiating for previously-taped fights. It has yet to be determined what it will do with other promotional brands.”
Rumors began circulating yesterday that ProElite had finally been sold to Strikeforce, and that an announcement would be forth coming. But, Strikeforce executive Mike Afromowitz told MMAInsider “Any reports of a done deal are a complete fantasy.”
Numerous buyers have been rumored since this Saga began with ProElite’s demise in October, but recently it seems that California based Strikeforce has become firmly planted in the front runner position. The deal is complicated by numerous factors, including fighter contracts and TV deals. It is rumored that if the purchase actually takes place, select fighter contracts, as well as the CBS and Showtime television deals will be one of the products purchased. Strikeforce already has a contract with NBC to show pre-recorded fights in a half hour format, but as yet have not secured an arrangement for live TV.
Afromowitz had this to say, regarding the details of the sale, “It’s complicated, and that’s why I don’t want to speculate. If anything is done, it will be very technical. It’s not as straightforward as you think.”