By Jesse Holland
Not since the formation of the Nortenos has anyone in California seen this much red.
Once considered a viable threat to the UFC programming empire, EliteXC (operating under its parent company ProElite) has posted a net loss of 11.9 million dollars over a six-month period starting from January 1st and ending June 30th of 2007.
Operating in the loss column is not unusual for a start-up company, but ProElite's revenue was a disappointing 2.2 million dollars during that same time period.
Anyone confident in the relationship with Showtime Networks as it pertains to financial rescue should also be aware that Showtime isn't required to pay any licensing fees until 2008.
John Donne once said that no man is an island, yet I can't help but wonder if Gary Shaw is feeling a little like Chuck Noland.
In addition, SEC Form 10QSB of ProElite's quarterly report is surprisingly grim. Particularly its outlook for the next twelve months:
Our cash and cash equivalents are expected to be sufficient to execute the next 18 months of our three year business plan. As such, we continue to seek additional financing. If we are unable to raise sufficient additional financing, our growth may be limited. There can be no assurances that we will be able to raise sufficient financing on favorable terms and conditions. Management believes that we currently have sufficient cash and cash equivalents to finance our current operations for the next twelve months.
EliteXC is not dead yet. They have experience in Gary Shaw, a marquee name in Frank Shamrock, and a juggernaut of a producer in Mark Burnett.
What they don't have is a pay-per-view (PPV) that can make you stand up and cheer. And they need one in a hurry. I know it's easier said than done, but after this financial report it's pretty obvious that time is of the essence.
Yet with such a limited number of fighters on the free market and a couple of missed opportunities (Vera, Sokoudjou), I'm not sure if it's possible for EliteXC to pull it off.
I believe that competition breeds success, so I'll keep ordering their PPV's in the hopes that they can.
I'm sure some UFC fighters of past and present will be doing likewise.