Over the years the name "Showtime" has come up many times when it has to do with GLORY on American television. In fact, early on for the organization they were looking to Showtime as a potential home. This began with the relationship with CBS Sports Network, which aired some of their earlier events on tape delay, and many thought would lead to a deal with Showtime until Spike TV came along. Spike had initially reached an agreement with K-1 Global to bring kickboxing to the United States on Spike TV. That deal began with web streams on Spike.com and after a few events both sides decided that it was best to move on.
That left Spike hungry for what they saw as potentially the next MMA in the United States and they looked no further than GLORY. Since then there have been ups and downs when it comes to GLORY on Spike TV. Kickboxing is a growing sport and as soon as Scott Coker took the helm of Bellator MMA Viacom's focus was on making Bellator MMA a viable brand and moneymaker for them. That is still a work in progress and somewhere along the way GLORY was left in the wake of the cult of personality that is Scott Coker. Bellator MMA has grown in popularity and television ratings since then while GLORY has been struggling with its identity within the Spike TV universe.
The Spike TV/GLORY deal comes to an end in the near future and right now we are in the part of the deal where both sides consider the future. A part of that consideration is for GLORY to check for other deals and of course, Showtime once again is in their sights. Rumors earlier this year involved Floyd Mayweather possibly becoming involved with the promotion, which seemed like a backdoor of sorts onto Showtime, although things never quite panned out in that regard. Now we see GLORY's SuperFight Series airing on CBS Sports Network and FrontRowBrian tweeting about GLORY CEO Jon J. Franklin meeting with CBS officials. We've had confirmation on that for days now, but it all is just a part of the puzzle.
Our friend John Joe O'Regan at BloodyElbow spoke with Franklin today and Franklin confirmed that there were talks, but that it is just business. The relationship with Spike is still there and it is safe to note that Franklin was the impetus for the Spike TV deal in the first place, before he worked in an official capacity for GLORY.
"Operating in the best interests of all Glory stakeholders, it behooves us to discuss broadcast opportunities with all networks that reach out to us," Franklin told Bloody Elbow.
What is clear is that GLORY is ensuring that fans in the United States will be able to consume GLORY programming moving forward. Where GLORY will be airing in a few months is still a mystery, but there are plenty of options it seems. Franklin's background in boxing and television can only help. If Showtime is where GLORY wants to go and that is within their reach it could be a truly interesting time for them. Showtime has less of a reach of a Spike TV, but as a premium network with a rich history of their sports broadcasting with boxing and Strikeforce previously, it would deliver GLORY to an engaged audience and also have Showtime's PPV know-how at their disposal. Never mind the possibility of airing on CBS proper.