In Depth

Fox Networks Enter Mixed Martial Arts Ring

FSN and MyNetworkTV have signed a TV and new-media programming deal with the International Fight League, which features mixed-martial arts fights.

The IFL will have 12 teams of fighters when it starts it first season on Friday. The league will add to the menu of mixed martial arts programming on television, a genre pioneered by the Ultimate Fighting Championship. UFC currently televises shows and fights on the Spike cable channel.

FSN-formerly Fox Sports Net-has the right to televise 22 one-hour late night programs produced by the IFL beginning in the second quarter.

News Corp. owned MyNetworkTV, which is in the process of revamping its program strategy away from an all-soap opera format, is planning to broadcast 22 two-hour IFL produced programs beginning in mid-2007. The shows will include event action, highlights, features and league news.

Under the agreement, FSN and IFL will set up a joint venture to manage IFL digital media rights including broadband and mobile video, via Fox assets including Myspace.com.

(Editor: Baumann)