On January 12th, Titan Fighting Championship issued a press release stating that they had inked a deal with CBS Sports Network to broadcast eight shows in 2014. In addition Titan FC has a new CEO in Jeff Aronson. Aronson has experience in the MMA industry at the Alchemest Management firm run by rapper MC Hammer. The deal is significant for several reasons. Those reasons are the following:
History of Titan FC
Titan FC started out as a regional promotion run by Joe Kelly. At it’s height it held four to five shows a year that were broadcast on HDNet (now AXS TV) with up and comers as well as former UFC fighters such as Tim Sylvia, Jamie Varner, and Anthony Johnson. However, in late 2012 the promotion was bought out by Resurrection Fighting Alliance which transferred most of the assets such as the TV contract and fighter contracts but still held two shows in 2013.
It is extremely significant that Titan FC is reemerging under new leadership and with a new TV deal considering it was considered by most as a defunct promotion. However, most MMA reemergence promotions aren’t successful.
Talent and marketing strategy
Jeff Aronson has made no secret in that most of his talent consists of former UFC veterans. Some names that stick out are Mike Ricci, Jorge Gurgel, Matt Riddle, Anthony Gutierrez, Dave Herman, Jeff Curran, and George Sotiropoulos. However, at the same time Aronson has made it clear he has no intention of competing with the UFC.
Instead he would like to market Titan FC as more of a feeder league for the UFC where up and coming prospects can showcase themselves for the top promotion. This is a wise strategy considering promotions such as EliteXC, Strikeforce, Affliction, IFL and BodogFight to name a few failed to compete with the UFC whereas promotions such as RFA and World Series of Fighting are more embracing that identify and at present are thriving on the second tire and regional scale.
TV Exposure for MMA
Probably the most significant part of this deal is the fact that MMA has another TV outlet to the mainstream. The deal with CBS Sports Network marks the third major sports network to sign an MMA promotion with the UFC on Fox Sports 1 and World Series of Fighting on NBC Sports Network, leaving ESPN as the sole holdout.
This marks a milestone for MMA as a whole as the sport has never been more viewable than it is now with these three deals, Bellator MMA on Spike and the multiple promotions broadcast on AXS TV which is only getting wider exposure under the partial ownership of Ryan Seacrest.
In addition there are numerous ways to view content online with the UFC Fight Pass subscription service, regional and international fights broadcast on sites such as Sherdog, MMA Weekly and ESPN3, and even news shows on non MMA channels such as MMA Live on ESPN2. At this rate, expect other promotions on basic TV relatively soon.