The World Series Of Fighting promotion has revealed that after a stint on NBC Sports in 2013, they’ll be expanding their reach in 2014 by also having two events air live on the main NBC channel.
“Next year we’re gonna have two shows that are gonna be on the mothership of NBC,” Ray Sefo told The Huffington Spot. “They are starting to promote WSOF on there, which reaches millions of millions of other people that probably don’t know much about the sport or have never seen it.”
That’s a big deal for a promotion that’s still barely a year old, with only the UFC (FOX), Strikeforce (CBS) and Elite XC (CBS) having previously managed to secure a deal to air an MMA event on network television before.
Up until this point WSOF’s ratings have generally fallen south of 200,000 viewers on NBC Sports, so potentially being exposed to millions of viewers on NBC is really going to put them on the map in the coming year and put Bellator on notice that they’ve now got a real competitor for the right to be called the second biggest promotion in MMA.
WSOF are also expected to get one-up on Bellator by venturing into the international market in the coming year, with Sefo noting that they’ve already struck deals to appear in New Zealand, Australia and Japan, while he also mentions other potential destinations like Mexico, Brazil and Peru.
In total they have between 8-10 events planned in 2014, including the two on NBC, with the rest airing on NBC Sports.
They might have to continue to strengthen their roster if they want to compete at this level, but they have made some key acquisitions in the past year, including former UFC stars like Jon Fitch, Yushin Okami, Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson and Rousimar Palhares, and along with homegrown talent like kickboxing star Tyrone Spong and Nick Newell, so they have a decent foundation to build from.