When HDnet was partially bought from Mark Cuban by Ryan Seacrest and his agency, MMA fans worried. What was going to happen to Kenny and Bas? Would the vast amounts of MMA programming hosted by HDnet go kaput? Luckily, AXS TV has held strong the tradition of broadcasting just about every regional MMA organization while simultaneously producing some of the best MMA news content (not some of the best, the best) with Inside MMA and other reports from guys like Ron Kruck. But, was the MMA content produced just the fulfilling of contracts, or would AXS TV be in the MMA game for the long haul?
Mark Cuban assures the world that it’s in it for the long haul, which is sweet.
Not only will AXS TV continue on with it’s current programming, but they are experiencing quite a bit of growth. They’re happy, we;re happy, Mark Cuban and Ryan Seacrest are happy. Everyone is happy. Happy and feeling reassured that Friday night AXS TV fights aren’t going away any time soon. USA Today got the scoop from Cuban himself in this interview:
“We wanted to drive toward an all-live network that leverages social media and live events from concerts to fights,” “If it’s live, we want it on AXS TV. But I don’t expect anything to change.
“We have a great fan base. They love to watch ‘Inside MMA’ and our live fights. We broadcast more live fights than anyone. That is a great platform from which to promote our concerts and other live programming. MMA fans love music too.”
“We weren’t as good at promotion as folks like Resurrection Fighting Alliance, Xtreme Fighting Championships, Legacy FC and UFC,” Cuban said. “If we weren’t going to be great at it, there was no reason to do it. Plus, it gave us the chance to broadcast all promotions and not compete with them. It was interesting and a learning experience, but we are better off where we are.
“The talent base for MMA is expanding by the minute. No single organization can corner the market. We wanted to show all MMA fans what they were missing, and it’s resulted in some amazing fighters putting on amazing fights.”
“We have always been muay Thai fans,” Cuban said. “We just hadn’t had the right partner. Lion Fights put together the best of the best, and we were excited to expose fans to a different side of MMA.”
“Every sport goes through cycles as old stars fade and new stars develop,” Cuban said. “Just when things seem down and pay-per-view numbers slip, some new storyline and a new name will emerge, and everyone will forget the downtime. MMA is fundamentally strong.
“A great example of how strong it is are the regionals. Promoters like XFC, Lion Fight, Legacy and MFC are not only stable, they are growing and working from very sound financial footing. That’s something that you didn’t see in the past and proof of just how strong the sport has become.”
“We continue to grow,” Cuban said. “We are now past 40 million subscribers. When you consider that we are not offered in standard definition anywhere but DISH Network, it means our penetration is growing quickly. If you are on Time Warner Cable, Cox or Cablevision, call them. Tweet to them. Make it clear to them that MMA fans deserve AXS TV.
“Let’s not forget ‘Inside MMA.’ While everyone from ESPN to Spike TV to FOX have tried to copy us, there is only one show of record in the MMA world, and that’s ‘Inside MMA.’ Bas and Kenny have an amazing relationship with fighters and fans alike. There is no better show for and about MMA and there never will be. It’s a show that MMA fans have to watch every Friday, and they do.”