Invicta Fighting Championships held its seventh fight card on Saturday night (Dec. 7, 2013) and Invcita FC 7, which featured the flyweight title fight between Leslie Smith and Barb Honchak, was the promotion's third trek into pay-per-view (PPV) territory; the second as far as televised shows is concerned.
For the second time in four tries, Invicta will have to refund money to those who paid for the event but couldn't watch it due to technical difficulties. Problems with both the televised feed and the internet stream, put a damper on the night's fight card, where the strawweight title fight between Carla Esparza and Claudia Gadelha was already scrapped due to Gadelha's illness. Invicta FC 4 was the last time there was a big issue. That card was originally supposed to be an online PPV, but a paywall issue forced refunds on the night of that event.
The less than two-year old promotion has lost revenue on half of their attempts at trying to earn it by showing their product on PPV. Tonight they were forced to refund those who weren't able to view the fight card, and show the remainder of the main card for free on InvictaFC.com, after it was already well underway.
Invicta FC president Shannon Knapp has been patient in regards to finding a TV partner for the all-female fight promotion, but she may be forced to lock up a TV deal before Invicta FC 8, to avoid any possible chance at yet another night of technical drama.
Knapp was a guest this week on MMAmania's "Darce Side Radio" podcast and she explained that the TV interest in Invicta has grown and some conversations with interested partners will be taking place soon.
"There is interest," Knapp said. "There are doors that maybe were a little open before, that have opened a little bit more. We'll see. I have got some meetings after this event and we will see where we go from there. It is of course something that I'm going to focus on and try to make happen. I just want us to have a good partner, someone that believes in what we are doing."
I'm sure she wants a partner that can show her fight cards without her having to worry if she will make it through the night without having to pay fans and viewers back. As the head of the promotion, she was right in weighing all the options, before making a hasty decision. But now the clock is ticking, and a young promotion like Invicta can't afford to keep losing money.
Knapp also said, "I knew it would take us longer than most promotions, because we still had to convince people that an all-female promotion would be successful. I was prepared for that and more than ready for it. I'm very optimistic, I always am."
She may be a positive thinker, but the PPV glass for Invicta is more half-empty than it is half-full. Now she has big decisions to make, with not a whole lot of time to make them. Another PPV failure can't be afforded.
For full Invicta 7 results and play-by-play for "Honchak vs. Smith" click here.