In addition to the recently announced deal for Showtime to air up to 16 Strikeforce MMA events per year, CBSSports.com has confirmed that Strikeforce could eventually air on the CBS network as well.
However, Showtime will be the primary broadcast outlet for Strikeforce, which acquired key assets of Pro Elite -- including many fighter contracts and the EliteXC video library -- in a deal announced on Thursday .
"We have an option to broadcast Strikeforce events on CBS, but the plan is for Showtime to be the main outlet," said Chris Ender, spokesman for CBS Corporation, which owns both CBS and Showtime.
CBS became the first major network to broadcast a live MMA event in 2008, with Kimbo Slice, Gina Carano, Robbie Lawler and Jake Shields among the many fighters who saw increased exposure due to the shows. While details are still sketchy -- and in some cases, perhaps still being worked out behind the scenes -- it is believed that Slice, Carano, Lawler and Shields are among the former EliteXC fighters already on board with Strikeforce.
Showtime announced on Thursday that the first Strikeforce event to air on the premium cable network as part of the new deal would be on April 11, emanating from San Jose, Calif.