Martial arts events to air on cable network

Showtime is getting into the mixed martial arts business, having signed a multi-year deal with event producer Strikeforce that entails live broadcasts of matches and a series highlighting the sports up-and-coming fighters.

Under the agreement, Showtime Sports will produce and televise up to 16 live Strikeforce-promoted MMA events a year, starting with an April 16 lineup of cage matches set for San Jose, Calif.’s, HP Pavilion.

The deal follows a series of successful collaborations between the pay cabler and the fight promoter over the last several years, which includes Showtime’s telecast of the championship “Shamrock vs. Baroni” bout in 2007 and last year’s “Shamrock vs. Cung Le” fight.

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