Mark Cuban Says New Partners Won't Mean Less MMA on AXS TV
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 03.19.2013
Cuban talks about the network and more...
Mark Cuban recently spoke about AXS TV and MMA's future on it in the wake of new partial owners AEG, Ryan Seacrest Productions and Creative Artists Agency. Check out the highlights:
On MMA's future on AXS: "We wanted to drive toward an all-live network that leverages social media and live events from concerts to fights. If it's live, we want it on AXS TV. But I don't expect anything to change. We have a great fan base. They love to watch 'Inside MMA' and our live fights. We broadcast more live fights than anyone. That is a great platform from which to promote our concerts and other live programming. MMA fans love music too."
On whether he was concerned about MMA being too edgy or controversial for HDNet/AXS: "That thinking is about 20 years old and ridiculous."
On broadcasting shows vs. hosting them: "We weren't as good at promotion as folks like Resurrection Fighting Alliance, Xtreme Fighting Championships, Legacy FC and UFC. If we weren't going to be great at it, there was no reason to do it. Plus, it gave us the chance to broadcast all promotions and not compete with them. It was interesting and a learning experience, but we are better off where we are. The talent base for MMA is expanding by the minute. No single organization can corner the market. We wanted to show all MMA fans what they were missing, and it's resulted in some amazing fighters putting on amazing fights."
On bringing Muay Thai competitions to AXS: "We have always been muay Thai fans. We just hadn't had the right partner. Lion Fights put together the best of the best, and we were excited to expose fans to a different side of MMA."
On MMA's future: "Every sport goes through cycles as old stars fade and new stars develop. Just when things seem down and pay-per-view numbers slip, some new storyline and a new name will emerge, and everyone will forget the downtime. MMA is fundamentally strong. A great example of how strong it is are the regionals. Promoters like XFC, Lion Fight, Legacy and MFC are not only stable, they are growing and working from very sound financial footing. That's something that you didn't see in the past and proof of just how strong the sport has become."
On AXS' future: "We continue to grow. We are now past 40 million subscribers. When you consider that we are not offered in standard definition anywhere but DISH Network, it means our penetration is growing quickly. If you are on Time Warner Cable, Cox or Cablevision, call them. Tweet to them. Make it clear to them that MMA fans deserve AXS TV. Let's not forget 'Inside MMA.' While everyone from ESPN to Spike TV to FOX have tried to copy us, there is only one show of record in the MMA world, and that's 'Inside MMA.' Bas and Kenny have an amazing relationship with fighters and fans alike. There is no better show for and about MMA and there never will be. It's a show that MMA fans have to watch every Friday, and they do."