Here are some notes taken from today’s EliteXC conference call with the media:
- Contracts have been offered to Pat Miletich fighter Robbie Lawler and Murilo “Ninja” Rua to fight against one another on a fight card that will air on September 15 on Showtime. EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw stated that they are working on getting an opponent for Nick Diaz, who trains under Cesar Gracie on that card as well.
- Fans can expect to see the MMA promotions King of the Cage, Rumble on the Rock, Gladiator Challenge, and ICON on Showtime’s new MMA series titled ShowXC. The first installment of this regular MMA programming on Showtime is titled ShoXC & EliteXC present King of the Cage and will be shown 11pm EST live and 11pm PST on tape delay this coming Friday, July 27. They appear to be shooting for ShowXC programming to be monthly, and hope it will increase Showtime subscriptions.
- Gary Shaw stated repeatedly that having pay-per-view as one’s main offering is a disservice to sports fans. He said Showtime is a much better value for a fan to pay the monthly subscription fee for Showtime to get one’s “MMA fix” and get the full 24-7 array of other programming than paying $40 for each PPV an MMA promoter might offer. He did not rule out the possibility that EliteXC would not put on a PPV at some point, but presently their model appears to be to use Showtime as their main programming outlet.
- ShowXC was originally slated to begin in December but was moved forward to this month to meet the immediate demand for more high quality programming. Shaw stated that while he appreciates the production quality of shows like the IFL and Bodog, he believes that with Showtime’s experience producing ShowBox over the years, viewers of ShowXC will enjoy the highest production quality of MMA programming out there, to be on par with what is seen in the UFC.
- When asked if it was appropriate for fans to conceptualize the competition shown on ShowSC as a “feeder system” for EliteXC events, Shaw denied the use of the term, saying that it is a venue to provide high quality MMA programming that otherwise would not be available to fans. Senior V.P. And G.M., Showtime Sports & Event Programming Ken Hershman stated that he does not obect to the term “feeder system” and considers it a positive opportunity for younger, less-experienced fighters to prove their skills and prepare them for the bigger events.
- Gina Carano has signed a multiyear deal with EliteXC. It is not known what her responsibilities are, if any, beyond fighting.