Earlier this year, the CES MMA promotion moved its cards from AXS TV and the AXS TV Fights programming block to UFC Fight Pass.
CES MMA fights have been streaming on UFC Fight Pass since the Jan. 19 CES MMA 54 card from Lincoln, RI.
At the time, Brian Gerson of MMASucka.com had this to say about the move:
“CES MMA’s move from television to online streaming came as a result of an expiring deal with AXS TV. Once the defunct home of diverse North American mixed martial arts programming and broadcasts, AXS TV dumped another combat sports broadcast property.”
Gerson’s article also indicated that AXS TV, which also broadcasts music programs and general entertainment fare, was beginning to move away from MMA.
Fast-forward to a week ago Monday, when the digital cable network was acquired by Canada-based Anthem Sports and Entertainment Corporation.
Later in the week, Phoenix Carnevale, who served as a reporter on AXS TV’s Legacy Fighting Alliance coverage, tweeted out that last Friday night’s LFA 76 card would be the network’s last.
Last Friday just before the card, the MMA promotion confirmed with USA Today’s MMAJunkie that LFA 76 would, indeed be its final show on AXS TV.
AXS TV will continue to air sports entertainment brands such as New Japan Pro Wrestling and Women of Wrestling on Saturday nights, having previously aired prior to and following MMA fights on Fridays.
Ed Soares, Legacy Fighting Alliance president, reiterated to MMAJunkie that the promotion is not going anywhere, despite the cancellation of the contract with AXS TV, saying:
“There’s irons in the fire already. This is not the last of LFA. It’s just the last event broadcast on AXS. In the very near future, we’re going to be telling the world what our next steps will be.”
The next LFA event will be the Sept. 27 LFA 77 card, highlighted by a Heavyweight fight between Daniel James and Brett Martin.
Where could the promotion land as far as broadcasts are concerned?
In my mind, there are two clear pathways:
1: LFA lands on UFC Fight Pass for online streaming.
As previously mentioned, Fight Pass already has CES MMA as part of its catalog of regionally-based promotions that stream fights.
LFA would undoubtedly bolster that catalog.
Plus, it’s a natural move, seeing as how some of the current UFC roster, such as Greg Hardy and Miles Johns have spent time in the LFA.
Without Fight Pass, these promotions, and the fighters contracted to them, wouldn’t get nearly as much exposure.
2: LFA agrees to an online streaming deal with DAZN.
DAZN just launched in America last year and already streams Bellator MMA cards, along with Combate Americas and Fight Nights Global (both former UFC Fight Pass properties), as well as boxing events—with no pay-per-view commitment.
In all honesty, it wouldn’t surprise me all that much if LFA signs with either of those platforms.
We’ll keep you posted on the latest developments.
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