As the UFC hightails away from longtime broadcast partner Spike TV for greener pastures on Fox, many have been left wondering where exactly that leaves a MMA-centric cable network devoid of any actual MMA content. Well the newest Spike executive has a plan.
According to reports from Sports Business Daily's John Ourand, the network has promoted Jon Slusser to a newly developed position, Senior VP of Sports & Multi-Platform Programming. Within that role, Slusser's primary objective will be to acquire Spike new broadcast contracts for specific sports.
"Spike is ready and is making a significant investment to grow our sports programming," Slusser said to Ourand. "This is our future."
Within the report, Slusser details the need to focus on four primary aspects: motorsports, lifestyle sports ("rugby, beach volleyball, rodeo and extreme skiing"), event sports ("New Year's Even specials and stunts"), and most imperative of all, fighting. As MMA's largest non-Zuffa owned promotion -- Bellator Fighting Championships -- already streams live undercards on Spike.com, a full-fledged partnership between the two entities is beginning to seem inevitable.
"Sports is a big initiative for Spike," Slusser concluded. "It's a big deal."