For the $650,000 price tag, HDNet will be entitled to all intellectual property, including the IFL’s film, video, and image library; its five-roped competition ring and team trademarks; and proprietary rights, including its Web site. The transaction also includes any remaining broadcast contracts the IFL acquired during its two-year tenure, which includes a deal with FOX Sports Network.
An article up at Cage Potato questions as to what this acquisition could mean in terms of HDNet's desire to promote MMA:
Not that the IFL didn’t put on some good fights, but how much is old fight footage really worth? With the exception of the really good bouts, watching old fights can be a lot like watching old college football games on ESPN Classic, which is to say it appeals to a very select audience, mostly the unemployed and the very, very drunk, either of whom are likely to think they’re watching live TV.
But HDNet seems too savvy to pay that much for a bunch of old fights that have already been aired on Fox Sports Net and MyNetwork, not to mention spread around the internet. So what do you have up your sleeve, HDNet? Don’t tell me you paid more than half a million dollars just to air Chris Horodecki highlights in between old episodes of Hogan’s Heroes. All right, I admit I’d watch that.
Granted, this could be nothing more that HDNet bolstering their programming. But while Donald Trump is nothing more than a figurehead in Affliction's promotional scene, Mark Cuban is a somewhat unconventional, but extremely astute businessman who happens to own a cable network laden with MMA programming. With other would-be competitors to the UFC withering in the shadow of MMA's dominant promotion, these dying promotions' fighters may be looking for a home. Could this be Cuban's opening?
I realize that competing with the Zuffa at this point may be nearly impossible due to the strength of the UFC brand and the depth of their roster of fighters. However, keep in mind that Cuban is an agressive operator. He has spent millions in his quest to make the Dallas Mavericks a perennial title contender in the NBA. Although HDNet doesn't provide the exposure of a major network, it's still a formidable framework for getting his promotional aspirations off the ground.
Once again, this transaction may be little more than a move to strengthen HDNet's video library. With that said, a businessman in the mold of Mark Cuban could have a significant impact on MMA's promotional landscape if so inclined.