Dave Meltzer over at Wrestling Observer dot com had this little summary of the IFL ...........
Dave Meltzer over at Wrestling Observer dot com had this little summary on the IFL in his Wednesday report that has mainly been ignored on the major MMA blogs:
"The IFL had a press conference today to announce its 2008 plans. They are not doing a locked-in schedule like last year, but instead will be promoting two team vs. team matches, usually best-of-three in agreed upon weight classes (could be all the same classes, three different classes, whatever the best match-ups the two camps can provide), plus two championship matches featuring the winners of the six belts that will be decided on 12/29. The teams for next year will be Miletich Fighting Systems, Renzo Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Ken Shamrock's Lion's Den, Matt Lindland's Team Quest, plus camps with Bas Rutten, Marco Ruas, Mario Sperry, Ian Freeman and a Chicago camp. The goal is to run eight live shows next year. They would air the two title matches and one of the team vs. team best-of-threes in a two-hour format for live TV. No TV deal is completed but MyNetworkTV and HD-Net were talked about. The current plan, subject to change, is to run all the shows either at the Izod Center (East Rutherford, NJ, formerly Continental Airlines Arena), Mohegan Sun Casino and the The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The debut show is 2/29 in Las Vegas."
Looks to be some smart moves from the IFL. They were losing money had over fist trying to put on shows in suspect markets like Reno, Chicago, Houston, South Florida and the like. The East Coast is an under serviced market for MMA on the big time level and the IFL has drawn good crowds there in the past.
On the TV front, I think they would almost be better off striking a deal with HDNET at this point. It probably cost them more in production costs to generate a tv show than they see from it in rights fees under their current deals with FSN and MYNet. Signing with HDNet means that HDNET would handle the production end of things since the broadcast has to be in Hi-Def. HDNET already has all this equipment and would have to be the one's to generate the broadcast, which would save a boatload of cash. Hell, maybe even Cuban can have them do a show in Dallas and rent them has arena for free.
As far as there structure for 2008, it looks like a lot of folks are gonna get there wish in seeing the team concept de-emphasized. This looks to be a lot more of an open model that will allow for some bigger names to come in for match-ups with homegrown talent like Horodecki, Heleno, Radach, etc.
I am encouraged by these moves and it looks like the signing of Jay Larkin as CEO is paying dividends. Actual competent decisions are now being made over in IFL land.