Ultimate Fighting

All Eyes Are On Mixed Martial Arts

CBSIf a sport is officially labeled as legit once it signs a deal with one of the four main broadcast channels (ABC, NBC, CBS, and I’ll be nice and include FOX), then Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is now legitimate. Elite XC, a company that promotes MMA, has survived based on its live events and programming on the premium channel, Showtime. That is all about to change.

ProElite, Inc., the title company to Elite XC, struck a deal last week with CBS on a multi year contract to air four live two-hour MMA events at a primetime time spot in each year of the contract. MMA content will also begin to be posted on The deal should put a lot of money into the pockets of the MMA producers and will be sure to bring a tremendous spike to the sport’s popularity. Apparently, IMG had its hand in the operation, joining ProElite with CBS.

But that was not the only huge MMA buzz circulating last week. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) secured a title sponsor in Anheuser Busch. Expect to see a bunch of Bud Light signage in the octagon. Darren Rovell reports that the first time you will see Budweiser ads in UFC is May 24th at a Las Vegas event.

When a sport gains a big sponsor like Anheuser Busch and picks up a major network to broadcast its events in the same week, heads start turning.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

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