Report: ProElite close to signing broadcast deal with CBS and Showtime

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Looks like mixed martial arts (MMA) might be coming back to network television after all.

That's because the big wigs at the recently resurrected ProElite organization are reportedly close to signing a new broadcast deal with Viacom that will bring MMA back to CBS, as well as provide more of the same on Showtime.

CagePotato.com has the report:

Sources close to the promotion that was recently brought back from the verge of death by Stratus Media Group, who acquired a 95 percent ownership stake of the company in June, have informed CagePotato.com that ProElite is in the final stages of negotiations for a multi-year television deal with Viacom that will see its events broadcast on both Showtime and CBS starting in the first quarter of 2012.

This lends further credence to the notion that Showtime will not renew its contract with Zuffa to continue broadcasting Strikeforce events. Which also serves to spark even more speculation to the fact that Strikeforce will dissolve altogether once the contract with Showtime runs out.

M-1 Global still has a deal with Showtime but that agreement runs out after two more events and even if one of them features Fedor Emelianenko, the premium cable channel is apparently content to find a new partner to get in bed with in the fight game.

Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for further updates to this developing story.

After shutting its doors in October of 2008 following its inability to secure additional funding to keep the promotion afloat, select assets of ProElite -- the parent company of EliteXC -- were auctioned off to the California-based Strikeforce promotion, leaving nothing left but the bare bones.

Now those bones have been reanimated and come back to life like one of the skeletons from Jason and the Argonauts. Of course they had a little help from the gang at Stratus Media Group, Inc., who gobbled up the remains of ProElite with hopes of cashing in on a suddenly lucrative MMA market.

The resurgent promotion quickly announced an Aug. 27 event in Hawaii as its re-debut and signed such name talent as Andrei Arlovski, Kendall Grove, Joe Riggs and Reagan Penn to compete on the card.

And now that they are on the verge of signing a major multi-year contract with Viacom, the little promotion that could is close to completing its near total rise from the ashes.

But can ProElite ever truly compete with UFC, even with a television deal that will get them back on CBS?

Sound off, Maniacs.

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