Invicta FC just put their sophomore effort in the books, and in my humble opinion, delivered a highly entertaining card. Despite the hiccups with the stream when the event kicked off, the fights were entertaining, and out of a card stacked with 14 fights, only three of them went the distance. In a recent interview with TapouT Radio, Shannon Knapp discussed the streaming issues, and what the future holds for the promotion.
Stephie Daniels: You had some issues with the stream at the beginning of the event. Who handled your streamcast and will you continue to stream your events using the same company?
Shannon Knapp: Digital Studio 5A handled our streaming needs. They work for Crave Online and do the Sherdog streams, and handled our first event. As far as the issues, I think we're going to evaluate some things; what happened, what were our issues, where does the fault belong. So yeah, there will definitely be an evaluation period before a decision is made. He still turned it around and get it fixed.
It was my word to the fans that I was going to deliver a good stream, and when that didn't happen, I took it quite personal. I can't promise that it will never happen again, because this is life and things happen, but what I can promise you, is that I will do everything possible to make sure that never happens again. Just know that it affected me greatly, and I will do everything in my power to make sure that I give you all what I say that I'm going to give you.
Stephie Daniels: Do you still plan on streaming all your events?
Shannon Knapp: I can't ever see a time when we're not going to be streaming them, or at least part of them. There's so many people out there that support the women athletes, and want to be involved in this journey with us. If we end up with somebody that doesn't facilitate the needs for everybody to be able to watch, then I'm sure we're always going to supplement and go ahead and stream. It's our goal to make sure everyone has the opportunity to watch our cards.
Stephie Daniels: Were you happy with your numbers?
Shannon Knapp: Once again, we came out and blew away any expectations that I had. Coming into this, I didn't really have an expectation, but you can always hope that you did as well as you did the last time. We did beyond what we did last time. Myself, my business partner and my staff are ecstatic. The numbers came in and we couldn't be happier.
As long as those athletes had opportunities, the fights were good, well then, we're happy. To get the numbers we got, we are elated beyond our wildest dreams. It's absolutely incredible.
Stephie Daniels: Your first show did around 250k, correct?
Shannon Knapp: 233K is what the first show did. The last show you had people going to the site to watch, then they'd leave, come back and watch some more. This time, we stayed steady and climbing. I don't want to share the numbers right now, but let's just say we started where we were the last time, and steadily, across the board, we never dropped. We actually increased the numbers and kept the viewers there. For five hours, people did not move. We drew more in and we never dropped off.
Stephie Daniels: Are there plans to do more shows?
Shannon Knapp: For this year, we'll just be having the three events, but could that change in the future? Yeah, it absolutely could. I don't think we're ever going to saturate the market, but I can see us doing from four to six shows a year.
Stephie Daniels: Have you had offers to broadcast your cards on television?
Shannon Knapp: We have had offers and interest. I think any time you have a great amount of success like we did on the first show, everybody looks over at you and thinks it was a fluke or a one hit wonder. That really doesn't do you any good to get into a partnership if that actually holds true, so I figured to go back out there and show people one more time that we are more than a one hit wonder. Our objective is to get better every time.
I mean look at us. We're a company that started from scratch. We've done two shows, but we're extremely blessed with the success that we're having. We're fine tuning a lot of stuff. We're putting on a good show while staying in a budget. I'm real happy with where we are right now, and if that means that by the next show, we're not aligned with the right partner, then it's no big deal, and we're going to stream it all again.
Stephie Daniels: There were some complaints about you starting the event without a properly working stream in place. I'm going to assume that it's because you had a live event with paying customers that needed to stay on schedule. Judging by the noise level, it sounded like a sellout crowd , or very close to it,is that correct?
Shannon Knapp: Yes, and that is the most exciting part about it. We had close to a sellout crowd. As much as I care about everybody that wants to see this event, and I do care, I also have to stay true to my paying customers that bought tickets and made the trip to the venue. If show time is set for 6 pm, then the show is rolling forward at 6 pm. It was unfortunate that things happened the way they did, but the show must go on.
At 5:30 pm we had over 100k people sitting in the queue and my prelims hadn't even started. At 6 pm, when the event fired off, we had over 200k people hitting the site at once. Did I expect that great a number to hit all at once? Absolutely not. I can't imagine that the streaming guy quite expected that either. Even with our success the last time, those numbers would bounce up and down, and it wasn't all at once. Thank goodness for EdgeCast, because they came in and saved the day. The servers pretty much went into complete meltdown, so EdgeCast ended up actually hosting the event. My apologies go out to everyone for any problems or disappointment it may have caused, and I hope that we delivered a quality card, despite the bumpy start. Please be patient with us, because we are a work in progress.
Stephie Daniels: Are you reaching a point where you're going to start signing your girls to exclusive contracts?
Shannon Knapp: We do have girls that are signed to three fight deals, but if we can't keep them busy, we are not going to shelf them. It doesn't help the sport or the athlete to do that. You have small promotions out there that are wanting to sign girls to five fight deals. If you get all these smaller promotions thinking that girls are the money ticket now because of our success, that pulls away from the talent pools, and nobody can continue to build the depth that's needed in women's MMA.
Because we work with everyone we can with open relationships between the organizations, we're able to bring you good fights with the best talent. We're not in this to line our pockets. Anything we're making, we're putting right back in. This isn't about me, or Janet Martin, or even Invicta FC. It's about every girl that's been vying for an opportunity. This is their home. This is their promotion. We don't go in there and lock them down. We are more than willing to work with other promotions.
Stephie Daniels: There were some crazy things flying around on Twitter that you might be selling to a Russian organization. Is there any truth to the rumors?
Shannon Knapp: First of all, I haven't talked to M-1. I'm not doing any business there. Yes, a Russian businessman did call me and ask to buy Invicta. Did I take the phone call? Absolutely. I take any phone call. I'm taking every phone call that comes to me. Does that mean anything? Absolutely not. I am not selling out. I'm keeping to the commitment and promise I made. I don't know where the rumors are coming from, but I am not selling Invicta.
You can follow Shannon via her Twitter, @ShanKnapp