World Series Of Fighting have renewed their deal with NBC, ensuring continued coverage of their live events on NBC Sports, while also offering the opportunity to air others on the main NBC channel.
The first event to enjoy airtime on NBC will be WSOF 11 which takes place on July 5th and is headlined by a lightweight title encounter between current champ Justin Gaethje and Nick Newell who’s likely to attract a lot of attention pre-fight due to the fact that the 11-0 challenger has only one arm.
The co-main event will see a rematch between Jon Fitch and Josh Burkman, while Melvin Guillard and Gesias ‘JV’ Cavalcante also features on the televised main card.
It’s a huge opportunity for WSOF to potentially reach millions of viewers for the first time, but the potential spanner in the works is that the date they’ve picked for the event couldn’t have been worse.
It falls on the same night as potentially the biggest MMA event of the year, UFC 175 which is jam-packed with big stars like Chris Weidman, Lyoto Machida, Ronda Rousey, Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva, with the TUF 19 Finale headlined by BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar set to air on FOX Sports 1 the following night.
It’s hard to see WSOF gaining a lot of traction against that kind of competition, but they will have a second bite of the cherry on NBC later in the year, with December 27th also ear-marked for another live event.
You have to wonder if they’ve really thought this through though as that date is another big one for the UFC as it’s when they’ll hold their annual end-of-year event which is expected to be headlined by TUF 20 coaches Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez in a lightweight title showdown.
All that aside it’s good to see NBC continuing to back the promotion and hopefully they can build on the ratings they’ve been achieving so far on NBC Sports over the course of the next year.